Major changes ahead for mining hotspots

By Staff Reporter

A new report released by the Queensland government’s department for state development, infrastructure and planning is set to bring about significant change for regional Queensland towns.

Smart Property Investment last week reported on the Regional and Resource Towns Action Plan, which proposes to meet the challenges of mining towns, including land supply and housing problems.

For the major resource centres of Mackay and Gladstone, the report outlines a number of actions in place to develop infrastructure and deal with much needed land supply issues in the areas.

Some of the key actions outlined in the report include:


•    Investigate feasibility of joint venture with Mackay Regional Council to deliver Bucasia demonstration project.
•    Assist council to finalise the new planning scheme, and ensure new planning scheme increases the reliance on code assessable and self-assessable development.
•    Investigate opportunities to facilitate innovative funding models for catalyst trunk infrastructure items (water, sewer, roads). Projects currently requiring funding include:
o    drainage at Ooralea
o    water and sewer upgrades over the next 10 years
o    western rising sewerage main and pump stations to service the Richmond growth areas
o    Wallmans Road upgrade and realignment
o    Rosella future industrial area trunk infrastructure


•    Finalise Toolooa PDA Development Scheme to enable development feasibility of first stage residential development (Dalrymple Drive site)
•    Investigate opportunities for new development by Gladstone Affordable Housing Company
•    Assess opportunities for development of industrial land at the airport
•    Investigate opportunities to make Gladstone State Development Area land available for development.
•    Assist council to finalise the new planning scheme for approval by late 2013, instigate pilot project for inclusion of housing diversity in planning scheme
•    Identify infrastructure linkages needed to support economic growth

In both towns, the DSDIP will work with Ergon Energy and local regional councils to resolve regionally specific issues associated with Ergon infrastructure.

Keith Jones, sales consultant at PRD Nationwide Mackay, said that new infrastructure planning inevitably brings about an improvement in the local property market, with the potential to increase prices and lower vacancy rates. However, the changes need to be major to create a lasting effect.

“It has the potential to be significant, but at the moment the market is steady - there’s not a great deal happening,” he said. “There’s infrastructure going on, and there’s been a bit of a pick-up in mining, but there’s been a little lull in it compared to what there was.”

Mr Jones said the action plan is unlikely to have a considerable effect on the Mackay property market in particular.

"We need a fair amount of change," he said.

"These things will happen, but they’re not monstrous. There’s a fair bit of slack in the market at the moment."

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