The Australian state of Queensland has given a shot in the arm for the local music sector with the launch of two complementary export initiatives.

State minister for trade John Mickel has unveiled the first strategy, entitled Queensland Contemporary Music Export Strategy (QMEx), the goal for which is to bolster the trade routes for the region's artists.

"QMEx is a major export strategy for Queensland's contemporary music industry over the next three financial years," Mickel explained. "With a goal to achieve exports of $10 million Australian ($6.5 million) over the period 2008 to 2011."

The export strategy has six key components, which include proposals to lead trade missions abroad and contracting international music specialists to impart their knowledge on the business.

Mickel added, "The Bligh [Queensland] government is committed to boosting exports of Queensland's contemporary music and, through Trade Queensland, has developed QMEx to help achieve this goal."

Minister for the arts Rod Welford launched the other project, dubbed Press Play, which comprises an action plan for the years 2009-2012 to back the state's contemporary music biz.

Welford boasted that music was a $2 billion Australian ($1.3 billion) national industry with contemporary music becoming a cornerstone of the creative industries.

"It is a first for this state and will help to consolidate our position in the global market," he said. Press Play, he noted, "outlines how we plan to foster a healthy live music scene, cultivate emerging musicians, maintain meaningful links with local audiences and build partnerships with key national and international industry heavyweights."

South east Queensland, and in particular its capital Brisbane, has a rich history of unearthing top-shelf artists. Punk pioneers the Saints and master songwriting team the Go-Betweens came through the Brisbane scene, while in recent years the likes of locals Savage Garden, Powderfinger, Regurgitator, Pete Murray and the Veronicas have enjoyed commercial success.

"Every few years Brisbane has really been delivering," Paul Piticco, founder of the Brisbane-based Dew Process label and Secret Service management firm, tells "Another wave is coming. There's always another wave," he says, nodding to the potential of such artists as John Steel Singers, I Heart Hiroshima, the Gin Club, the Boat People, the Gold Coast's Operator Please and his signings the Grates and Yves Klein Blue.

A Dec. 10 launch event gathered hundreds of industry and government guests at the Zoo, a live venue in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley suburb. Local acts 26, Emma Dean and the Boat People performed at the party.