An artist impression of the Brisbane CBD development
An artist impression of the Brisbane CBD development

Business confidence jumps in Qld: $200b in pipeline

THE Queensland Labor government has claimed a surge in business confidence is due in part to a positive response to its first budget earlier this month.

Businesses reported a six-point bump in business confidence figures in the latest Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland Pulse survey, up from a six-year low of 37.7 per cent in the survey released following the election of the Palaszczuk government.

CCIQ Director for Advocacy Nick Behrens described business confidence as improved, but "fragile", Fairfax reported.

"Businesses have responded positively to a state budget that provided more clarity on economic and fiscal policy direction," he said.

"... Unquestionably, the federal and state budgets have boosted Queensland business confidence.

Treasurer Curtis Pitt welcomed the report in a statement on Thursday.

"The CCIQ survey specifically acknowledges that business sentiment has improved on the back of a balanced State Budget," he said.

"It reveals that general business conditions improved in the June quarter and that businesses are more optimistic about our economic growth prospects.

"Business, industry, unions and community groups have welcomed our first budget and its positive plan to promote jobs, growth and investment."

Mr Pitt said the State Budget handed down on July 14 was one of Queensland's most positive, business-friendly budgets in several years.

"Our budget locks in $35 billion of capital works spending over the next four years, which will deliver an important boost to business," he said.

"It's a budget that includes a new 25 per cent payroll tax rebate to encourage employers to hire more apprentices and trainees.

"And there's also $180 million for the Advance Queensland initiative to nurture the high-tech and knowledge based jobs and industries of the future."

According to the Pulse report, businesses reported an upturn in profitability in the June quarter, while capital expenditure hit a seven-year high.

The survey was conducted over the period 1-17 July 2015.

"In addition to the CCIQ report, the latest Deloitte Access Economic Investment Monitor for June, also released today, shows that Queensland is second only to WA in terms of our overall investment pipeline.

"This week I've been speaking to investors and financial institutions in Sydney and Melbourne who have all been very positive towards Queensland's prospects going forward."

According to Deloitte, as at June, there were $211 billion worth of definite and planned projects in Queensland - more than NSW and Victoria combined.

"Deloitte says Queensland has good growth prospects in tourism, agriculture and education exports," he said.

"The lower $A is supporting a higher level of activity in Queensland's tourism sector, with investment in recreation infrastructure also picking up.

"Queens Wharf is moving full steam ahead, and we're also working with shortlisted proponents to develop the Herston Quarter precinct."

The Deloitte report also says low interest rates are underpinning a bounce in the State's retail sector, and locking in a sharp upswing in housing construction in Queensland.

"In another encouraging sign, Deloitte says that Queensland will continue to grow its share of the national economy over time," Mr Pitt said,

"We'll continue to support business and industry by not introducing any new fees, taxes or charges in our first term, or making changes to mining royalties."