IPA Today

Southwest Queensland Hardest Hit In Nation By Net Zero And Green Regulation

Written by
15 December 2022

“Agriculture and mining are the backbone of Queensland’s economy, yet these industries that contribute so much are under constant threat from the destructive policies of the political and inner-city elite in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne,” said Daniel Wild, Deputy Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs.

Today, in the Western Downs, the IPA launched two new research reports, Queensland’s Green Tape Crisis and Estimating the Employment and Economic Consequences of Net Zero and Environmental Activism in the Darling Downs, both of which study critical challenges facing regional Queensland.

The key findings of the reports are:

  • The policy of net zero emissions by 2050 will cost Southwest Queensland at least $47 billion in forgone economic output and will cause the cancellation of 77,000 new jobs, which is more than half of the region’s current work force.
  • Since 2000, Queensland’s environmental bureaucracy has grown by over 50% while employment in the state’s agricultural sector has halved.
  • The size of Queensland’s environmental bureaucracy has grown more than three times faster than the value of Queensland’s agricultural sector.

“Southwest Queensland is a key net zero and green bureaucracy impact zone. Shutting down crucial industries in Darling Downs-Maranoa will be devastating for locals. Its impact will also be felt nation-wide because this part of the country keeps the lights on and puts food on the table for all Australians,” said Mr Wild.

The new research also establishes that Darling Downs-Maranoa faces economic decline due to these policies. Since 2015, local employment has grown by less than half the rate than the number of working-age people in the region. This means it will be harder to find work in the region into the future.

“There is a palpable fear in these communities, and they are sick and tired of not being listened to by political elites. Each year, there are more Brisbane-based bureaucrats with clipboards telling Queensland’s farmers what they can and can’t do, than there are actual farmers,” said Mr Wild.

This week, the IPA is touring the Darling Downs-Maranoa region, communicating our research to agricultural and resource industry participants, businesses, community leaders, and the public about the future of the region.

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Daniel Wild

Daniel Wild is the Deputy Executive Director at the Institute of Public Affairs

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