Economic Development

CBD2 Upgrade Queen Street

The function of improving the local economy through encouragement of industry, employment, tourism and regional development.

  • Business Support

    Please refer to the below list for a range of business support services in Queensland.


    Please refer to the below list for a range of business support services in Queensland.

    Asian Century Business Engagement Plan Grant Guidelines

    The Asian Century Business Engagement (ACBE) grant offers member-based business organisations the opportunity to earn between $20,000 and $30,000 in grants to help them harness commercial opportunities in Asia for small to medium sized Australian businesses.


    AusIndustry is the Australian Government’s business program delivery division in the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.

    Australian Bureau of Statistics
    The Australian Bureau of Statistics assists and encourages informed decision making, research and disucussion with governments and the community, by leading a high quality, objective and responsive national statistical service.

    Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS)

    The Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) helps you find the government licences, permits, approvals, registrations, codes of practice, standards and guidelines you need to know about to meet your compliance responsibilities.

    Australian Local Government Association

    The Australian Local Government Association is the national voice of local government, representing 560 councils across the country.

    BEC Australia

    BEC Australia is a not-for-profit organisation whose primary role is to support and grow the national network of Business Enterprise Centres and provide representation on behalf of its members to key stakeholders.
    Carbon Tax Calculator for Small Business

    With Australian small businesses facing an increase in operating costs and compliance green-tape, a new toolset launched this week is helping to identify carbon tax costs for businesses, in language they can understand. For more details visit

    Commonwealth Government Services

    For access to Australian Commonwealth Government information such as Benefits & Payments, Communications & IT, Defence, Employment, Finance & Taxation, International Relations, Sport & Recreation, Tourism & Travel visit

    Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning

    The Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning delivers innovative and economically responsible outcomes, and gets the balance right between economic opportunities, the impacts of development on the environment and improving the Queensland way of life.

    Enterprise Connect

    Enterprise Connect provides eligible Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with a free, independent business review plus grants to help implement business improvement initiatives. For more information visit

    Federal Government Business Assistance

    Developing a business plan is one of the most valuable activities you can undertake in your business. There is an excellent tool provided by the Australian Government to assist you with this understanding. The MyBizPlan ipad app provides a template to help you get started. If you do not have an ipad, don’t worry, there are other templates (eg. Word) available.

    Home Hill Chamber of Commerce

    Visit the Home Hill Chamber of Commerce website at

    National Broadband Network (NBN) Online Resources

    If you are interested in practical tips that can help you establish or enhance your business’ online presence, there are a number of resources listed here that can assist you.

    Queensland Government Services

    For a list of Queensland Government Services visit

    Regional Development Australia

    Regional Development Australia brings together all levels of government to enhance the growth and development of regional Australia.For more information visit can also access the Regional Development Australia Townsville and North West Queensland Inc. website at

    Skilling Solutions Queensland

    Visit for free training and career information.

    Small Business Solutions

    Small Business Solutions is a one-stop shop for small business. Designed to enhance the business skills, profitability and growth of small businesses, Small Business Solutions provides small business owners the opportunity to get real business assistance from accredited industry professionals.

    Small Business Support Line

    The national Small Business Support Line provides small business owners with a single point of contact to access information and referral services to improve their business sustainability and help better manage their business.

    Townsville Business Development Centre

    North Queensland Small Business Development Centre (NQSBDC) is the Townsville-based home of business support and innovation.

  • Conferences

    Information about conferences hosted by the Economic and Community Development Department of the Burdekin Shire Council to further the development of the region.


    The Economic and Community Development Department of the Burdekin Shire Council hosts various conferences to further the development of the region.

    Information about these activities can be found here.


  • dollars

    Grants and Subsidies Funding Opportunities

    The following websites assist business and community to access government funding programs and associated guidelines. If you are aware of a funding program or funding website that we have not listed, please contact us.


    The following websites assist business and community to access government funding programs and associated guidelines.  If you are aware of a funding program or funding website that we have not listed, please contact us.

  • Infrastructure

    The Burdekin’s reputation as one of Australia’s richest agricultural regions is well deserved. However equally important is the infrastructure that supports the current and emerging industries. The Burdekin Shire is supported by world-class infrastructure including: (Video Testimonials) Fertile Land The fertile agricultural land of the Burdekin region is predominantly made up of high-quality delta (60,000ha) [...]


    The Burdekin’s reputation as one of Australia’s richest agricultural regions is well deserved. However equally important is the infrastructure that supports the current and emerging industries. The Burdekin Shire is supported by world-class infrastructure including:
    (Video Testimonials)

    Fertile Land

    The fertile agricultural land of the Burdekin region is predominantly made up of high-quality delta (60,000ha) and levee soils (25,000ha), which range from sandy loam to clay and are generally well draining.

    Water Access

    Developed on one of the largest aquifers in Australia, the Burdekin region has access to vast amounts of underground water. The aquifer holds an estimated 20 million megalitres of water, and the average groundwater storage above mean sea level is about 400,000 megalitres. Notably, the aquifer is a benchmark for good management and is sustainable and secure. Water is also available from Queensland’s largest dam. The Burdekin Falls Dam has a vast and reliable catchment area and holds about 1.9 million megalitres of water. The design of the dam allows for future increases in storage capacity and for future hydro-electric generation. The Burdekin River has the fourth highest average annual flow in Australia, and is second only to the Murray River in economic importance to Australia. Average annual rainfall for the region is around 962mm, most of which falls over
    three months in the summer.

    Water supply in the Burdekin is well managed. Currently two separate organisations – SunWater (a Government-owned corporation) and Lower Burdekin Water – administer irrigation.

    SunWater holds approximately 120,000 megalitres of unallocated water which is available for future developments from the Burdekin-Haughton Water Supply Scheme. The water entitlements in the Burdekin are amongst the most reliable in the country. This reliability gives the Burdekin a major competitive advantage over other irrigation regions.

    For up-to-date water charges visit:
    North Burdekin Water Board:
    South Burdekin Water Board:

    Sunshine and Climate

    With an average of 300 days of sunshine each year, moderate rainfall, warm temperature and high humidity, the Burdekin has proven an optimal climate for agricultural production.
    The conditions allow for counter-seasonal and extended seasonal production of many tropical and sub-tropical crops. The water availability offers considerably lower crop risk than many other food producing regions. The reliability of production flows on to a more stable regional economy and community. The average maximum temperature ranges from 32°C in summer down to 25°C in
    the winter months. The average minimum temperatures are 22°C in summer and 11°C during winter.


    Queensland’s main 275kV transmission grid and parallel 132kV network stretches from the Gold Coast to Cairns and passes through the Burdekin Shire. Specifically, the sections of this network which pass through the Shire are two single-circuit 275kV lines between Strathmore (near Collinsville) and Ross (near Townsville) and two 132kV double-circuit lines from Collinsville-Clare-Townsville South. The transmission network is maintained and operated by Powerlink, a Queensland
    Government-owned corporation.


    Telecommunication services are provided to the Burdekin through optical fibre. Satellite dishes are also available for communication. The National Broadband Network (NBN) is Australia’s first national wholesale only, open access communications network that is being built to bring high-speed
    broadband and telephone services within the reach of all Australian premises. The NBN will use three technologies: fibre, fixed wireless and satellite. Within the next 18 months, the plan is for every home, school and workplace in the Burdekin to have access to the NBN.
    A number of specialist information and communications technology companies operate within the region. There are a large number of internet service providers and comprehensive mobile telephone coverage.

    Specialist Skills

    The Burdekin Shire is recognised as having specialist skills in the broad areas of farming practices,
    boilermaking, fitting and turning, engineering and fabrication. Engineers and fabricators in the Burdekin region are among the best in Australia, with some exporting specialised products worldwide. Many have developed expertise servicing agriculture and then tapping into opportunities in nearby mining regions.


    The closest airport is located about 10km north of the township of Ayr. Opportunities exist for commercial development of airport land. Business operations – such as aircraft maintenance and spare parts, ‘fly in/fly out’ workforce operations, storage facility and warehousing – could easily be accommodated.

    Airport code: YAYR

    The airport has two runways, which can handle small to medium aircraft.

    Aerodrome Runway Capacity
    Length (m) Width (m) Surface
    1,462m 30m Bitumen sealed
    1,127m 30m Grass

    The closest major airport is located in Townsville, one hour’s drive north of the Burdekin. Each year, about 1.6 million passengers utilise the airport.

    Port/Harbour Facilities

    The closest commercial port to the Burdekin is in Townsville, 88km to the north. The Port of Townsville is one of the most diverse ports in Australia in terms of cargoes it handles and berths around 800 vessels a year. The facility is able to berth up to 10 vessels simultaneously, and currently processes about 13 million tonnes of cargo per year. Pilotage is provided and stevedoring companies operate on site. Both road and rail access is available to the port. The principal commodities handled through the port include:
    Exports: Sugar, molasses, minerals, fertiliser, timber, meat and livestock; and
    Imports: General cargo, cement, ore, petroleum, motor vehicles, sulphur and fertiliser.

    The facility is operated by the Port of Townsville.


    Queensland Rail and Aurizon provide regular passenger and freight services to the Burdekin. The trains haul about 50 wagons and the main freight goods carried include sugar, molasses, metals and minerals.


    A well-developed road network exists within the Burdekin Shire. This includes sealed highways, main and minor roads. The Burdekin Shire Council is currently implementing a bitumen widening program in its urban areas. The Department of Main Roads also works collaboratively in the region to upgrade roads of regional significance.


    Regular road freight services are available in the Burdekin. Fees and charges vary depending on distance and volume.

    Public Transport

    There are regular school bus services for the entire district and community service
    buses for those in need. Intra and interstate coach services are available from
    operators including Greyhound Australia and Premier Motor Service.


    Commercial and Industrial

    Commercial and industrial properties are available for rent and purchase within the Burdekin Shire. There is a designated industrial estate on the outskirts of Ayr, with further industrial land set aside in the Council’s Planning Scheme. Industrial land is selling for $75-$180 per m2.


    The median house price in Burdekin Shire LGA ending 30 June 2014 was $210,000. Residential prices are significantly more affordable than Brisbane (median price $493,000).

    Source: Queensland Government Statistician’s Office, Queensland Regional Profile, Resident Profile

    Average Rental Prices for Accommodation in the Burdekin $/Week
    Three-bedroom homes $260
    Two-bedroom units $200
    Compared with Brisbane
    Three-bedroom homes $420
    Two-bedroom units $400

    Source: Queensland Government Statistician’s Office, Queensland Regional Profile, Resident Profile

    Agricultural Values

    Irrigated cane land in the Burdekin is typically valued between $12,000 and $22,000 per hectare.

    Health Care

    Two hospitals operate in the Burdekin region, providing primary medical care. The Ayr hospital consists of a $12 million state-ofthe-art facility constructed in 2004. The region also possesses three
    ambulance centres. The Lower Burdekin Home for the Aged Society operates two aged-care
    facilities in the Burdekin. Both facilities have low and high-care rooms available with 120 beds in Ayr and 73 beds in Home Hill. The district is well-serviced by private medical practitioners. There
    are two medical centres in Ayr, with several doctors and visiting specialists, as well as pathology, x-ray and pharmaceutical services. In addition, the Burdekin is well serviced by:

    • Dentists;
    • Chiropractors;
    • Physiotherapists; and
    • Podiatry services.

    The Burdekin Centre for Rural Health also provides specialised health services and programs to the district. The Burdekin Community Association (BCA) is an independent, community-based organisation, which is focused on the physical, mental and social well-being of Burdekin residents. Its services include rehabilitation, counselling, health information, exercise programs and emergency housing.

    The Burdekin Neighbourhood Centre (BNC) endeavours to identify, promote and develop the interests of the residents of the Burdekin community through programs and activities conducted in the centre and in conjunction with other community groups. Services available through the BNC include information and referral, office services, community education courses and community
    programs such as Vacation Care.

    Education and Training

    Tertiary education is available at the Barrier Reef Institute of TAFE in Home Hill and Townsville, North Queensland Centre for Tropical Agriculture and at James Cook University in Townsville.

    The TAFE college offers a wide range of trade courses from pre-employment to post-trade options, hairdressing, childcare, literacy, office administration, business, information technology and
    computing studies.

    James Cook University offers both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The university is particularly well recognised for its research and teaching in marine science, medicine, earth science, tropical biology and conservation, biotechnology and biomolecular science, and computational and experimental mechanics. The university offers on-campus and on-line education. The Burdekin has one private secondary school and two state high schools. There are 16 primary schools, three of which are privately run. There are several prep centres, three kindergartens and both home and commercial child-care services.


    Full banking services are offered by Australia’s four major banks and rural transaction centres. A community bank and credit unions also provide complete services in the area. There are also numerous investment, taxation and superannuation businesses.

    Short-term Accommodation

    The Burdekin is well-serviced with some 40 short-term accommodation establishments. Many are new or recently refurbished.


    • Over 80 sporting and recreational clubs;
    • Region is renowned for an active cultural community and calendar;
    • Popular outdoor recreational pursuits including water skiing, fishing, windsurfing, and bird-watching;
    • Excellent recreational infrastructure including five swimming pools, well-maintained parks and children’s playgrounds;
    • Latest movies on show at the Delta Cinemas;
    • Burdekin Theatre hosts live acts from the local area, Australia, and abroad;
    • Great range of pubs, clubs and nightlife are kept busy with locals and travelling workers; and
    • Restaurants, cafés, and takeaway to suit all tastes and budgets.


    Major events throughout the year include:

    • Burdekin Grower Race Day
    • Burdekin Show;
    • Burdekin Water Festival;
    • Home Hill Harvest Festival;
    • Burdekin Barra Rush Fishing Competition;
    • Tastes of the Burdekin;
    • Burdekin Auto Fest;
    • Canefield Ashes Cricket Competition;
    • Burdekin Junior Eisteddfod;
    • Burdekin Battle of the Bands;
    • Burdekin Craft Spectacular;
    • Australian Hand Cane-Cutting Championships; and
    • Burdekin Sugar Rush Running Competition.
  • Emerging Industries

    Invest in the Burdekin

    The Burdekin has an exciting future with emerging industries being developed. For more information about these emerging industries please click on the heading above.


    There are numerous emerging investment opportunities throughout the Burdekin.
    Specific identified opportunities include:

    • Sugar cane value adding;
    • Aquaculture;
    • Lifestyle business and industry;
    • Horticulture and processing;
    • Industrial manufacturing;
    • Biofuels and bioproducts;
    • Export services;
    • Transport and warehousing; and
    • Alternative Crops

    There are significant opportunities for producing more varieties of horticultural products and irrigated broad acre crops. The region’s vast water resources and its high availability of irrigable land are always attractive and reduce the risks for new cropping enterprises. The Burdekin Region is a significant agricultural area and many opportunities exist to value-add.
    Mining and industrial activity in the Abbot Point/Bowen region has the potential to generate economic benefits in the Burdekin.

    Further investment opportunities exist across the agricultural, small business, education and training, and business services sectors.

    Burdekin Shire Council is proactive in pursuing sustainable economic development to create wealth, employment, educational opportunities and enhance the lifestyle of our residents and visitors and plays a vital role in supporting current and attracting new business. Economic development is essential to ensure growth in the region and the council plays an important role in linking primary producers and industry to appropriate state and federal government agencies.

    Council’s Economic Development department is actively encouraging primary producers to value-add to their primary crop with the aim of increasing the economic base of the region.

    Council actively support innovative and emerging industries by putting such industries in contact with producers who would be interested in diversifying. We also try our best to ensure applications are dealt with efficiently to allow investors to move forward with their projects as quickly as possible.

    Analysis of the competitiveness of the Burdekin region compared to other key Queensland investment destinations identifies the following core strengths:

    • Water availability;
    • Fertile land supply;
    • Affordable cost of living;
    • Rural lifestyle, fishing and natural assets;
    • Low business operating costs;
    • Established manufacturing and agricultural workforce;
    • Local business and support services;
    • Dedicated and proactive local government;
    • Proximity to Townsville port, airport and major city services;
    • Located on the main north-south transport corridor;
    • Proximity to mining areas such as Abbot Point, Bowen Basin coalfields and North West Minerals Province; and
    • Active and cooperative business community.

    Investment Opportunities in the Burdekin include:
    – KFSU
    – MBD Energy – Aquaculture

    A range of further information and support services are available to assist prospective investors and residents to the Burdekin. For more information please start by contacting Burdekin Shire
    Council’s Economic Development Manager, Adrian Scott or Support Officer, Eliza Lovell on 07 47839800.

  • Welcome to Home Hill

    Promotional Videos

    This promotional DVDs display the best the Burdekin has to offer families, business enterprises, the travelling community, friends and tourists.


    Burdekin’s Key Attractions

    A film crew for the North Queensland Ambassador Program visited the Burdekin to produce a short film (30 secs) that showcases the Burdekin’s key attractions and areas of the region.

    The film crew visited the following locations: Mt Kelly lookout, De Domenico’s Vegetable farm, Ayr CBD, Plantation Park, Burdekin Bridge, Home Hill Comfort Stop, Groper Creek, Lilliesmere Lagoon and Alva Beach.

    View on YouTube

    Better Councils, Better Communities Television Commercial

    This 30 second advertisement runs with the aim of reminding communities of the important, valuable and often innovative work that councils do.

    The Better Councils, Better Communities project is about local government listening and responding by driving a culture of high performance to ensure efficient and effective service delivery to our communities

    View on YouTube

    Invest in the Burdekin

    This investment DVD provides a comprehensive overview of the shire’s industries, infrastructure and investment opportunities.

    Burdekin Shire Council is pro-actively pursuing sustainable economic development to create wealth, employment, educational opportunities and enhance the lifestyle of our residents and visitors.

    Join us in growing the Burdekin – we’re breaking new ground!

    View on YouTube

    Welcome to the Burdekin

    This promotional DVD displays the best the Burdekin has to offer families, business enterprises, the travelling community, friends and tourists.

    The Burdekin Region offers an outstanding lifestyle that is both contemporary and relaxed.

    The major township of Ayr is only a short drive to the regional centre of Townsville.

    The Burdekin has abundant water supplies, excellent health and educational facilities as well as offering a fantastic array of cultural, sporting and recreational activities.

    View on YouTube

    Burdekin Bridge 50th Anniversary

    Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Burdekin Bridge with aerial views of the mighty Burdekin River, Burdekin Falls Dam and the Burdekin Delta.

    View on YouTube

    Burdekin Shire Council Labour Campaign

    The Burdekin Region offers an outstanding lifestyle that is both contemporary and relaxed with employment opportunities for

    • Tradesmen
    • Labourers
    • Drivers
    • Farm Workers
    • Cane Harvesters
    • Haulout Drivers
    • Cane Planting Operators
    • Horticultural Field and Shed Workers

    View on YouTube

    The Mighty Burdekin River – Catchment to the Sea

    Located in the North Eastern section of Queensland, the Burdekin River is the centerpiece to an entire network of rivers.

    Come on a journey along the Burdekin River and through the “Burdekin Region” to learn more about the people and the places that make this section of Queensland a place worth visiting – and on that you will never forget.

    View on YouTube

    South Burdekin Water Board

    The South Burdekin Water Area is a unique groundwater area which is considered the largest coastal aquifer in Australia. Its yield has been managed to develop one of the most highly productive sugar producing areas in the world.

    The South Burdekin Water Board is a self-governed body entirely financed by growers and millers in the South Burdekin Area. The board and area was constituted in 1966.

    The South Burdekin Water Board’s role is to develop and manage ground water replenishment in the twenty-eight thousand hectare Water Area.

    Artificial Recharge means increasing subterranean water supply artificially. Artificial recharge not only adds water to available groundwater supply, but it is also an effective means of disposing of storm water run off.

    View on YouTube

  • Report

    Strategy, Plans & Reports

    Economic and Community Development Reports and other useful information on the Burdekin Shire.


    The Economic Development Department has undertaken a number of reports to ensure the Burdekin remains a prosperous and growing community.

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