Business leaders bullish on city's future

Business leaders bullish on city's future

Brisbane will be powering by 2025, fuelled by the return of international tourism, transport infrastructure investment and a successful Olympics bid.

That's the buoyant outlook of Brisbane business leaders, polled in an exclusive survey for BNE2025.

More than 85 per cent expect business conditions overall to be "much better" or "somewhat better" by 2025 - and that's underscored by an overwhelming 96 per cent who see business activity for their respective individual organisations to increase in the next three and a half years.

Though some respondents cautioned a Brisbane Olympic Games in 2032 would not be the silver bullet for all sectors.

"If Brisbane wins the 2032 Games, construction and development will do well. I am not sure other sectors will benefit to the same degree," one business leader said.

The survey shows the job market will be hot with almost all business leaders predicting they will need more workers - one even expects to "grow staff by 10-25 per cent" - as they invest in new products and services (38 per cent) and new domestic markets (24 per cent).

"More activity, more jobs," another boss proclaimed. However, that's tempered by being able to find the people to do the jobs.

More than a third see the ongoing shortage of workers and skills as an impediment to growth, along with frustration over government red tape (38 per cent) and ongoing COVID19 lockdowns (14 per cent).

Some took the survey opportunity to vent their frustrations: "Government recognising the need to encourage business and not to get in its way through too much regulation or the imposition of do-nothing taxes such as payroll tax."

Nearly half are planning to reinvest in expanding and innovating their companies, with staff training and development (43 per cent) and capital expenditure (29 per cent) the main priorities.

When asked "what type of infrastructure provision would most improve your outlook by 2025", transport (roads, rail, ports and airports) rated highest at 47 per cent followed by broadband (19 per cent).

Businesses also felt that they were prepared for the growth opportunities around major infrastructure projects such as Cross River Rail, the Brisbane Metro, Queen's Wharf, Brisbane Airport's new runway and the international cruise ship terminal.

And more than seven in 10 identified "lifestyle" as the best thing about living in the River City.