The Queensland government will charter a 747 aircraft to fly hundreds of Silicon Valley investors and entrepreneurs to Brisbane, in an effort to attract the likes of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Tesla's Elon Musk to a tech festival in May.
The move is designed to boost the profile of the Myriad festival, which was held for the first time in 2017, with more than 2000 attending.
Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch said with 360 investors and entrepreneurs on board, the chartered Qantas flight from San Francisco to Brisbane would bring with it billions of dollars worth of potential.
"Those on board the flight from San Francisco will be representing billions of dollars in potential capital investment, and new business opportunities for Queenslanders."
She said Queensland-based entrepreneurs would also be on board the flight, giving them a precious window to network with leading Silicon Valley figures.
"The flight experience will provide those on board, including some of Queensland's own entrepreneurial talent, with 14 hours to network, collaborate, inspire and showcase our rapidly growing entrepreneurial ecosystem."
Opposition Shadow Treasurer Scott Emerson hit out the government for supporting the flight rather than focusing on cost of living issues affecting residents.
"Most Queenslanders out there, who are doing it tough and struggling to pay the bills will think its extraordinary that the state government is happy to pay these billionaires airfaires to come to Brisbane," he told reporters.
But Ms Enoch said the government, while sponsoring the event, would not pay directly for the charter flight, the cost of which will be covered by Qantas and the entrepreneurs.
Myriad co-founder Martin Tavani said one billionaire company founder has already signalled a willingness to sponsor enough seats to "basically cover the cost of the flight".
Fellow founder Murray Galbraith said while the festival would like to attract big names like Zuckerberg, he wouldn't be disappointed if they failed to take up the offer this time. noting that similar events like the SXSW conference in Texas had spent decades building their profiles.
"The invitation is there to Elon to Mark Zuckerberg, to all of these people, but this is a long, long term thing."