Funding source: UWA-UQ Bilateral Research Collaboration Award, Brisbane Marketing

Shaping economic and social policies to reflect, support and sustain Australia’s long term leadership in the Asia-Pacific region is a dynamic challenge for the nation’s political custodians and industry chiefs.

As our economy transitions from relying on primary industries (agriculture and mining), to functioning as a service hub for the labour and manufacturing-based economies of the Asia-Pacific region, capitalising on Australia’s changing strengths is paramount for policy makers.

UQ researchers and their colleagues at the University of Western Australia are studying how Australian cities connect with each other, and how we have overcome the ‘tyranny of distance’ across our own continent to build national economic networks.

Using data from various industry databases, a combination of spatial analysis and social network analysis has revealed valuable insights, such as which particular industries are responsible for mediating flows of information, capital and goods between distant places. 

With this intelligence, the designers of the nation’s future can position Australia to compete strongly in the global marketplace as well as contribute to a larger local economy that increasingly focuses on Asia.