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New mine to boost QLD town

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The Toowoomba property market is likely to surge ahead with the announcement of a new mining project in the Galilee Basin, a local agent has said.

The Commonwealth government yesterday approved the construction of a new coal mine in western Queensland.

According to minister for state development Mike Seeney, the mine has the potential to become the largest in Australia, creating up to 2,500 construction and 3,900 operational jobs.

Mike Stewart from LJ Hooker Toowoomba said while the Galilee Basin is north of the Toowoomba region, the town’s property market is likely to benefit from flow-on effects of the project.

“The reality is that because of the new airport and the new bypass, a lot of the services and equipment that service the southern end of the Galilee basin base themselves in Toowoomba,” he said.

“That’s going to have a positive impact on the local market.”

In his view, major population centres get the biggest leg up from new resources projects, particularly due to the increased popularity of fly-in, fly-out or drive-in, drive-out workers.

“As infrastructure rises, and FIFO becomes more common, the population bases are contracting to the regional centres,” he said.

For this reason, he warned investors against rushing to invest in small markets in the Galilee Basin itself.

“People have to be very careful that the places they invest in have a critical mass of population and industries. You would want to avoid small towns and focus on large towns,” he said.

He also warned resources projects tend to attract developers to small towns, which results in overbuilding, and then flooding of the market with new stock.

“In the smaller towns in the Galilee Basin, you may have the problem where the developers come in and do a 100 lot subdivision,” he said.

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