Titans of Industry talk up SEQ

The Brisbane industrial property market is beginning to stabilise and return to normal levels according to a panel of industrial sector experts at a Property Council industry lunch, held in August.

Over 250 property professionals attended the event to hear from a high-profile panel of speakers, who discussed their views on how the market is performing, and what key challenges and opportunities lay ahead for the sector. 

The panel of speakers included Michelle McNally, General Manager Property, Australia Post, Chris Macknezie, Head of Industrial Development – Dexus, David Keir, Chief Development Officer – Port of Brisbane, Dennis Wagner, Non-Executive Chairman – Wagners, Matthew Toohey, General Manager, Group Property – Coca-Cola Amatil.

Gail Black, Partner – Gadens, moderated the discussion which covered off on a broad range of issues affecting the industrial sector’s outlook in South East Queensland.

“Certainly in the last six months we’ve seen the enquiry level start to pick up again, we’ve seen incentive levels back to what I would consider normal levels. In terms of the market we’re back into a space that’s quite stable.” David Keir, Chief Development Officer – Port of Brisbane said. 

“The industrial space in the place to be in right now, from my perspective industrial is really hitting its peak.” Said Chris Mackenzie, Head of Industrial Development – Dexus.

“E-commerce for Queensland grew 20 per cent last year, and Queensland has four of the highest growth areas nationally. But they’re not in Brisbane, they are in Toowoomba, Mackay and Cairns. So we’re not only interested in servicing Brisbane but we are expanding our facilities out regionally as well.” Michelle McNally, General Manager Property, Australia Post added.  

“There’s been a lot of technology change come through the sector, particularly in things like automated guided vehicles which now operate across our facilities in Australia and globally. Lots of innovation in automatic, vertical storage systems and from a security aspect, our facilities are all using biometrics, fingerprinting and eye scanning.” Said Matthew Toohey, General Manager, Group Property - Coca-Cola Amatil. 

When asked how they predict the increase to land tax and the introduction of a new tax on foreign land owners impacting the industrial space, the panel responded overwhelmingly against the increases.

“To put it in perspective, we’re up for 14 million dollars a year increase in land tax. Obviously where we can, we will pass that through to our customers. What I’m fearful of is we’re going to see customers choosing different states and different locations rather than coming to Queensland.” Mr Keir said. 

“It’s counter-productive. We have to be careful we don’t create a situation where it’s too difficult to develop and set up a business in Queensland, or even Australia.” Said Dennis Wagner, Non-Executive Chairman – Wagners. 

The Property Council would like to thank all the speakers for their sterling contributions to this memorable event. This event wouldn’t have been possible without the support and sponsorship of HPC.

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