Ameni­ties help keep Glad­stone grow­ing

With a huge rise in de­vel­op­ment ap­provals and a mas­sive ex­pan­sion planned for Stock­land Shop­ping Cen­tre, Glad­stone is still boom­ing, writes Me­lanie Burgess

The Courier-Mail - Property - - REALESTATE INSIGHT -

WITH its pop­u­la­tion growth well above the Queens­land av­er­age and res­i­den­tial build­ing ap­provals ris­ing rapidly, Glad­stone is at­tract­ing in­vest­ment and ameni­ties and fast be­com­ing more than just an in­dus­trial hub.

The re­gion, which this year gained an en­ter­tain­ment cen­tre, wa­ter play park and GP su­per clinic, had an es­ti­mated three per cent pop­u­la­tion growth in 2012 com­pared to the two per cent statewide av­er­age, ac­cord­ing to ABS fig­ures.

It also had 1570 res­i­den­tial build­ing ap­provals in the 201213 fi­nan­cial year, 460 more than the year be­fore, show­ing there is no ex­pec­ta­tion mi­gra­tion will slow.

Glad­stone Re­gional Coun­cil deputy mayor Matt Bur­nett said a grow­ing pop­u­la­tion meant in­creased ameni­ties, which in turn at­tracted more growth.

“The more we grow the more ser­vices and busi­nesses that we at­tract. We’ll get more restau­rants, shops and choice,” he said.

“At the mo­ment a lot of peo­ple shop in Rock­hamp­ton and in Bris­bane. Soon we are go­ing to have some real choices in terms of re­tail and that’s be­cause the pop­u­la­tion is grow­ing.”

He is re­fer­ring to Stock­land’s Glad­stone Shop­ping Cen­tre, which is cur­rently un­der­go­ing a $6 mil­lion ex­pan­sion and has been ap­proved for a fur­ther $150 mil­lion ex­pan­sion, which will in­clude Glad­stone’s first food court.

Stock­land gen­eral man­ager re­tail leas­ing Robyn Stubbs said there was more than suf­fi­cient lo­cal de­mand and pop­u­la­tion growth to en­sure strong pa­tron­age and sup­port for the shop­ping cen­tre.

McDon­ald’s has also been ap­proved to build two more restau­rants in the Glad­stone re­gion, in Kirk­wood and on Boyne Is­land, bring­ing its to­tal to five. Cr Bur­nett said, love or loathe the com­pany, it was a good sign for Glad­stone’s econ­omy and in­vest­ment prom­ise.

“They do their mar­ket re­search and don’t move into an area where they are go­ing to fail,” he said.

“McDon­ald’s is smart. Fol­low McDon­ald’s.”

As for the en­hanced life­style, chil­dren’s wa­ter park Splash Zone at Glad­stone Aquatic Cen­tre and the Glad­stone En­ter­tain­ment & Con­ven­tion Cen­tre were both opened last month.

Cr Bur­nett said the cen­tre would en­cour­age more en­ter­tain­ment in the area and could bring thou­sands of peo­ple to the re­gion for con­fer­ences.

A GP su­per clinic was also opened in July and a new pri­mary school is planned for River­stone Rise, near Boyne Is­land.

But if re­cent pre­dic­tions from the Queens­land Schools Plan­ning Com­mis­sion are ac­cu­rate, at least one more pri­mary school plus a sec­ondary school will be needed in the re­gion by 2021.

“They’re re­al­is­ing we are al­ready at ca­pac­ity so Ed­u­ca­tion Queens­land are look­ing at how to house the chil­dren of the fu­ture,” Cr Bur­nett said.

Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of Queens­land (REIQ) zone chair for Glad­stone Mark Spear­ing said the re­gion’s above-av­er­age pop­u­la­tion growth would likely con­tinue but to ac­cu­rately pre­dict fig­ures was im­pos­si­ble.

“There are bil­lions of dol­lars’ worth of fu­ture growth still ear­marked for the Glad­stone re­gion how­ever th­ese projects are re­liant on cer­tain global eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties to oc­cur and that en­vi­ron­ment is very dif­fi­cult to pre­dict,” he said.

He said growth in the re­gion was driven by ma­jor in­dus­try there­fore of­ten fluc­tu­ated.

“There is lo­cal ru­mour that Ar­row En­ergy, the next LNG (liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas) pro­po­nent, is get­ting very close to mak­ing a pos­i­tive an­nounce­ment on its in­ten­tion in Glad­stone,” he said.

Plans for the LNG plant on Cur­tis Is­land were ap­proved by the State Gov­ern­ment in Septem­ber.

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