Let property grow the Townsville economy

Townsville is a city that understands economic growth is not going to happen by accident. Making the city a more attractive and competitive location for investment will be the only way of reaching Townsville’s full potential. As the largest non-government contributor to the Townsville economy, the property industry will be the key driver of the city’s economic development.

The Property Council continues to work closely with our members, Townsville City Council and the Townsville Chamber of Commerce on strategies to revitalise Townsville’s CBD and reinvigorate the local economy.

We are pleased to note that Townsville City Council continues to recognise the importance of the property industry to the economic health of the city, and is taking steps to facilitate the revival of the CBD. The Townsville Jobs and Investment Package 2015-2018, a much needed expansion of Council’s former incentive package, provides financial incentives, development facilitation and assistance with approvals for desired major projects within the CBD area.  

Last month saw an extension of the area eligible for the incentive package, which will provide a welcome increase in the number of potential projects that can take advantage of the program. This expansion includes the majority of the new Waterfront PDA, an area that will be critical in achieving the city’s highly ambitious aim of 30,000 people living and working in the CBD by 2030.

Importantly, the investment package looks beyond new buildings, and will also apply to the refurbishment and/or adaptive reuse of existing buildings. As a city facing a CBD office vacancy rate in the order of 30 per cent- well above the national average of 10.4 per cent- repurposing underutilised assets will be vital in stimulating further activity within the CBD.

Incentive measures such as those established by Council are needed to provide the city with a competitive edge over other regions, and harness Townsville’s $1 billion property industry to deliver the social and economic objectives of the community. The revitalisation projects that these incentives aim to attract will grow the prosperity of the city, generate more jobs and provide the community with new residential and commercial assets to enjoy.

With 17,597 jobs relying on the property industry in Townsville (10.6 per cent of all jobs in the local government area), it is critical that governments of all levels continue to provide the support necessary for our industry to thrive.

Townsville City Council’s efforts to attract investment are only part of the puzzle. Along with cultural and policy changes at a local level, the Property Council is working to ensure that all levels of Government achieve the right policy settings to enable the property industry to grow the economy. A fairer tax system, adequate infrastructure provision, a reformed planning system, and a reduction in red tape from both State and Federal Governments, will all be required to unlock the industry’s full potential.