NEW figures show Queensland soaring ahead of the pack for predicted growth in the next financial year and Gladstone is proving to be one of the key factors.
The State Government last week released updated forecasts from the mid-year budget review. Those figures show the state's forecast growth will out-perform the nation this year and will be the best of any state in the coming financial year.
In the 2012-13 financial year, Treasury is predicting 5% growth for Queensland, while Western Australia (this year's top performer) will soften slightly to growth of 4.25%.
The exact relevance of the figures will be open to debate, but Treasurer Andrew Fraser said Gladstone was a key part of that growth.
"While weaker global economic conditions have trimmed current year forecasts, the Treasury continues to forecast Queensland economic growth will be ahead of the nation," Mr Fraser said.
"The series of budget updates released in Australia show that it will be Queensland and WA that continue to do the bulk of the work for the nation with growth rates above 4%, while Victoria and NSW languish with projected growth of just over 2%.
"Nearly all forecasts have been downgraded around the globe and across Australia in recent months - our forecast growth of 4.25% will be the envy of most of the developed economies of OECD."
Business investment is now expected to increase by about 35% in 2011-12 - up from the almost 28% in the budget.
Mr Fraser said employment and population forecasts were set to remain above the national forecasts, while inflation was now forecast to be 2.5% for the current year - down from a budget prediction of 3%.
Mr Fraser said Gladstone was a vital cog in the wheel of economic activity.
"Gladstone is front and centre when it comes to the tens of billions of dollars of business investment that is driving growth in Queensland," he said.
"The three LNG projects that are now approved and under way, worth around $45 billion, are delivering jobs and prosperity to the region that will not be seen again for a generation."