Central West Queensland—the local government areas of Blackall-Tambo, Longreach and Winton—is dealing with huge challenges in the face of a severe and long-standing drought. Its nationally significant cultural and heritage infrastructure—the Stockman’s Hall of Fame, the Qantas Museum and the Waltzing Matilda Centre as well as its impressive Dinosaur Trail—have been developed and promoted by its dedicated and resourceful tourism industry, which has increasingly become a mainstay of the local economy.
The Sunshine Coast region—the local government areas of Noosa and the Sunshine Coast—is home to a full spectrum of cultural and creative activity. This extends from fully-publicly-funded and council-managed galleries and festivals through to fully commercial media companies, architects and a growing cohort of software developers and designers. Its local government are building world-class communications, transport and health infrastructure while maintaining the integrity of the region’s much-lauded environment and lifestyle. Home to Queensland’s third-largest economy, the Sunshine Coast’s population is booming, driving business and investment growth, creating new opportunities and inspiring a true entrepreneurial spirit.
Aspiring to be the arts and culture capital of Northern Australia, Cairns has made significant investments in its civic cultural infrastructure, with leadership and support from all three levels of government. With its three great tourism assets of the Great Barrier Reef, The Daintree Rainforest and its local Indigenous culture, and a focus on developing high quality local business services that connect with tourism and the growing Asia-Pacific market, Cairns’ soft and hard cultural infrastructure is now being factored prominently in its economic and development planning.
The cultural and creative identity of the Gold Coast is rapidly evolving, with its edgy arts precincts, a signature cultural precinct HOTA, world leading entertainment attractions, leading Indigenous cultural tourism centres, and sophisticated public art and music industry development strategies, even as it remains Australia’s traditional tourism-dedicated city, ‘famous for fun’. Befitting a place that is in many respects a metro more than a regional city, the Gold Coast stands out amongst our regional hotspots, having higher growth across its economy and in the creative industries and less of a sense of separation of the cultural and commercial, business-to-consumer and business-to-business, analogue and digital creative activity. Leveraging this identity as a positive aspect of the Gold Coast’s DNA is an important cultural driver across the region’s creative industries.