Competitive business conditions
  • Last updated:
  • 31 Aug 2021

The Sunshine Coast's low business costs make the region a highly cost-effective place to operate. The region boasts Australia's lowest payroll tax environment as well as numerous operating costs that are lower than state averages in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

Payroll tax

Queensland has the lowest payroll tax rate of any state or territory in Australia and provides a competitive advantage to investing in a business on the Sunshine Coast.  Additionally, Queensland has one of the highest payroll tax thresholds at A$1.1 million, which means that no payroll tax is due for wages and salaries below this level.

In 2016-17, it was estimated that an overall taxation in Queensland was A$766 per person less than the average of all other Australia states and territories. (Queensland Government, June 2016).

State or Territory  Basic Flat Tax Rate (%) Exemption Threshold
(including Sunshine Coast)
4.75 A$1,100,000
Victoria 4.85  A$650,000
South Australia 4.95 A$1,500,000
New South Wales 5.45 A$850,000
Western Australia 5.5 A$850,000
Northern Territory 5.5 A$1,500,000
Tasmania 6.1 A$1,250,000
Australian Capital Territory 6.85 A$2,000,000
National average 5.49  
Difference to Sunshine Coast 0.74  

Notes: For annual payroll thresholds between A$1.5 million and A$1.7 million, South Australian payroll tax rates are variable between 0% and 4.95%. For annual payroll thresholds between A$1.25 million and A$2 million, Tasmanian payroll tax rates are 4.00%. Source: Payroll Tax Australia (2019)

Source: Payroll Tax Australia (2019)

Indicative industrial land values (3,000 - 5,000m2)

Sunshine Coast  A$142/m2 
Brisbane A$347/m2  Average 59% lower
Melbourne* A$557/m2  Average 75% lower
Sydney* A$896/m2 Average 84% lower

Source: Savills, February 2019

* Median price for CBD and outer suburbs

Commercial office rental (A grade costs)

Locality  Mid-point (A$/sm2) Average Comparison 
Sunshine Coast A$330  
Gold Coast A$350  
Brisbane CBD A$540  40% lower
Melbourne CBD A$575  43% lower
Sydney CBD A$1,090  70% lower

Source: Savills, January 2019

Operating costs

The Sunshine Coast offers businesses lower operating costs against many competing locations. Additionally, work compensation insurance premiums are lower in Queensland than other states such as New South Wales and Victoria, providing additional cost savings.

Location  Median Weekly
Personal Income
Workcover Premium Cost
Per $100 in Wages
Sunshine Coast  A$615 A$1.20
QLD A$660 A$1.20
NSW A$664 A$1.40
VIC A$644 A$1.27

Source: Worksafe QLD (2018); Worksafe VIC (2018); Milne Alexander (2017)