The theme of this year’s State of the Region Address, by Toowoomba region Mayor Paul Antonio, was Strength, Stability and a Mighty Future. The annual address to the Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE) event was delivered to an audience of more than 200 representatives of business, industry, government and community groups. Mayor Antonio said that he was pleased to report that the state of the regional economy was very strong.

“We continue to outperform similar regional centres and our numbers rank well against State and National indicators,” Mayor Antonio said. “Last year the Gross Regional Product for Toowoomba Region went over $10.81 billion, having grown 4.5 per cent in the previous 12 months.“With job growth expected to outpace population growth, our Council will play a key role in delivering and improving lifestyle attributes that will continue to attract skilled workers.”

As part of the address, the Mayor launched the Southern Queensland Innovation in Export Hub. Mayor Antonio said the purpose of the Southern Queensland Innovation in Export Hub is to help small to medium enterprises in the food and agriculture, and oil, gas and energy resource sectors to expand their customer base, identify counter-season opportunities and spread economic risk between domestic and global markets.

“The Federal Government has allocated $840,000 to our region, matched dollar for dollar by TSBE, to support the establishment of the Southern Queensland Innovation in Export Hub, centered in Toowoomba,” Mayor Antonio said.“The SQ Export Hub has the potential to grow the region’s economy through increased export activity and put Southern Queensland well and truly on the national and international map as a major sustainable supplier of quality food and Agribusiness products. The SQ Export Hub is an opportunity to showcase to the world the oil and gas initiatives and technologies, which have developed from the Surat Basin expansion.”

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