Rental mar­ket wakes up De­mand ris­ing as job prospects in city brighten

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - TONY RAGGATT tony. raggatt@ news. com. au

BIRDS h have been flock­ing to Deb­o­rah Carter since she was a child and now the wildlife war­rior is do­ing her part to re­ha­bil­i­tate some of the sky’s most beau­ti­ful crea­tures.

Ms Carter, the founder of Fight for Flight in Townsville, needs the com­mu­nity’s help to con­tinue her work re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing in­jured or sick birds of prey.

“I’ve been work­ing re­ally hard for the last six or seven years, spe­cial­is­ing in birds of prey,” she said.

“So many of these birds come in with poi­son­ing or hav­ing been hit by cars, shot, a lot of dif­fer­ent in­juries.

“Re­hab is re­ally ex­pen­sive – these guys eat meat, you can’t just give them a side of lamb or meat from Woolies, you have to feed them rats, and mice and quail, things they would eat nat­u­rally in the wild to give them an op­por­tu­nity to sur­vive, and I have to teach the young ones. I fund this by my­self, last year it cost about $ 8000 to feed them. I love do­ing it, but these an­i­mals need to eat.”

NSW bird lover Shan­non Gunn has jumped on the fundrais­ing band­wagon, par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Syd­ney Har­bour 10km run dressed as a bird.

To help Ms Carter con­tinue her work sav­ing the lives of these ma­jes­tic birds, visit fight­4flight. org AFTER five years of fall­ing rents, Townsville’s rental mar­ket is on the move.

Projects in­clud­ing Adani’s Carmichael coal and rail de­vel­op­ment and the Townsville sta­dium, as well as mid- year move­ment of fam­i­lies, par­tic­u­larly among the Aus­tralian De­fence Force, are driv­ing de­mand. Adani is be­lieved to be cre­at­ing de­mand for more than 80 dwellings as staff re­lo­cate to con­tinue project plan­ning.

Econ­o­mist Colin Dwyer said the city re­mained a “renter’s par­adise” but the mar­ket was im­prov­ing.

“With the sta­dium project, Adani and projects at the port, I think there’s likely to be an im­prove­ment in the va­cancy rate in the CBD and in­ner- city area,” he said. While Mr Dwyer put Townsville’s res­i­den­tial va­cancy rate at about 6 per cent, agents and prop­erty con­sul­tants Her­ron Todd White have it bet­ter at around 5 per cent, back from more than 6 per cent at the start of the year.

John Grib­bin of John Grib­bin Realty said the rental mar­ket was start­ing to im­prove on the back of im­proved de­mand from jobs in the min­ing and govern­ment sec­tors as well as falls in rent prices.

“It’s def­i­nitely on the im­prove and I think it will con­tinue. We have ev­ery rea­son to be feel­ing a lit­tle bit more op­ti­mistic,” Mr Grib­bin said.

Donna Lloyd, busi­ness de­vel­op­ment man­ager of Smith and El­liott Real Es­tate, said their rental man­age­ment di­vi­sion had ex­pe­ri­enced its busiest pe­riod for sev­eral years.

“There have been a lot of De­fence Force re­lo­ca­tions,” Ms Lloyd said. “We are get­ting mul­ti­ple ap­pli­ca­tions for prop­er­ties and take- up on first view­ings which has not hap­pened for a long time.”

Mr Dwyer said he ex­pected the sta­dium project in par­tic­u­lar to drive de­mand for 200 to 300 prop­er­ties close to the de­vel­op­ment site in the city area. He said many work­ers would likely want to rent close to the project site.

“If the sta­dium cre­ates a net mi­gra­tion of 20 to 30 per cent of its 2000- per­son work­force, then be­tween 400 to 600 non­lo­cal work­ers may be re­quired,” Mr Dwyer said.

Her­ron Todd White’s lat­est Townsville in Fo­cus re­port put the trend me­dian house rent at $ 315 a week and the me­dian rent for units at $ 265 a week. The re­port says rents for both houses and units have fallen 11.7 per cent from five years ago.


WILDLIFE WAR­RIOR: Deb­o­rah Carter with Ford, a 15- year- old brown fal­con.

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