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Central Queensland

Map of Central Queensland region

Our 12 Queensland regions are the best that Australia has to offer.

The Central Queensland region stretches from Lady Musgrave Island to the rural towns of Emerald and Springsure. The major cities of the area are Rockhampton and Gladstone. The region contains 33 national parks. Great Keppel Island has been an island tourist attraction since the 1960s.

This region is home to memorable tourism experiences and filled with innovators with ground-breaking ideas that are putting us on the world map.

Whether it’s rejuvenating pristine Great Barrier Reef locations, such as Wilson and Heron Islands, or making sure Queensland is a significant player in the global $1.7 billion hydrogen industry, we’re backing Queenslanders who live and work in this region.

We know innovation and tourism are crucial to your region’s growth – now and in the future.

The Central Queensland region has many local success stories supported by our strong innovation and tourism investment. We’re working together to deliver jobs, economic growth and benefits for your community, our state and the world.

  • 220+

    Advance Queensland recipients

  • $38M+

    leveraged from external investment

  • $18M

    Hydrogen Industry Strategy funding

  • $1.6M

    Wilson and Heron Islands rejuvenation

  • $30M

    Great Keppel Island infrastructure funding

  • $150k

    Browne Park feasibility study


Anyone can have a great idea or come up with an innovative solution to a problem. The hard part when you’re in a region can be getting access to the help you need to turn your idea into a business and your business into a global success story.

Advance Queensland is helping Queenslanders to grow their business and build our innovation economy.

Central Queensland has many local success stories that we support through programs such as Ignite Ideas and the Industry Attraction Fund.

We have designed or funded many programs to support innovators across Queensland including:

  • Advancing Regional Innovation Program - gives each region up to $500,000 to develop region-wide innovation projects.
  • Regional Startup Hubs Support Program - a local skills-building program delivering education and networking events.
  • Startup Onramp Regional Queensland Program - shows people with a great idea how to become a startup founder.
  • Regional Angel Investors Support Program – helps investors find innovators who need financial backing.

Queensland Connects Regional Pilot Program – Gladstone has received up to $100,000 in funding to further grow and encourage entrepreneurship in the regions while diversifying the economy and supporting job creation.

Case study: Exporting Queensland Sunshine

Hydrogen can benefit Queensland's communities, industries and environment through renewable energy, and we are exporting Queensland’s sunshine to the world and supporting regional jobs.

This emerging industry will have enormous economic benefits for Australia, worth an estimated $1.7 billion in exports annually by 2030. We are positioning Queensland as a significant hydrogen trading partner with our international neighbours. The Queensland Government’s $19 million Hydrogen Industry Strategy is delivering a $15 million Hydrogen Industry Development Fund and providing $4 million for Industry Development activities.

Gladstone has been the focus of significant private sector interest in renewable hydrogen. Existing industries, gas infrastructure, access to a deep water export port and skilled local workers make it an attractive location for this emerging industry.


Tourism is crucial to Queensland’s economic growth. With an enviable tropical climate and access to islands, national parks and unique attractions, Central Queensland has no shortage of things to do and see.

We have invested greatly in tourism which employs over 10% of the state’s population. We’ve supported the Great Barrier Reef Island Resorts Rejuvenation Program with the clean-up and development of resorts such as Wilson and Heron Islands. The program focussed strongly on creating sustainable environments that support the Great Barrier Reef.

We are also committed to growing tourism on Great Keppel Island with a total of $30 million being provided by the Queensland Government towards enabling infrastructure to stimulate tourism on the island.

$150,000 has been committed for a feasibility study to investigate the redevelopment of Rockhampton’s 100-year-old Browne Park. It will turn it into a major regional stadium to attract visitors and boost the local and state economy.

The Central Queensland region is full of natural wonders and unique attractions that tourists love to visit. We will continue to support projects within the region to boost jobs and the local economy.

Case study: Great Barrier Reef’s Newest Island Wonder Opens

In November 2019 Wilson Island was reopened after being cleaned and renovated to its former glory.

The island which is just off Gladstone was closed for six years but with the removal of waste, the installation of an environmentally friendly sewerage treatment plant, solar power and nine upmarket tents it is now the ultimate island getaway. The island is focused on sustainability of the Great Barrier Reef and high-quality tourism that is boosting the local economy and creating more local jobs.

Last updated: 01 Jul 2022