Actions come to fruition
Over the last few weeks the Queensland Parliament has gone through the annual Budget Estimates hearings that are supposed to flesh out some of the detail of the programs set to be delivered across the financial year.
While this sounds good in theory, there is very little substance that results from the many hours that Ministers and parliamentarians spend debating (and I use this term loosely) the Budget.
Rather than the parliamentary pantomimes, what makes the Budget Estimates period interesting is the series of media announcements that the Government reveals over these weeks.
One such announcement that caught the attention of Townsville’s property industry was that Townsville City Council would receive funding through the ‘Building our Regions’ program for the waterfront promenade upgrade.
This project is not new, in fact it has received funding once before. The lack of delivery to date has been a point of frustration for the local industry.
The waterfront promenade received funding from the Government in October 2016, however it was not progressed at that time due to a range of issues. Prior to that previous funding commitment, the project had been identified as a key action stemming from the Property Council and Townsville Chamber’s workshop with key stakeholders on the development and activation of the CBD way back in 2014.
Earlier this year the Property Council sought to highlight the actions that were developed in 2014 and provide a status check on what had been completed or where in the delivery stage they currently sit. A copy of the Property Council’s ‘Townsville Charter document’ that contains this analysis can be downloaded from our website.
In reviewing the actions, it is fair to say that progress has been slow, or in some instances has stalled on number of items that stretch across all levels of government and the private sector. However, there is progress occurring across a number of fronts. These include the construction of the stadium and the long-awaited bus hub on Ogden Street.
Individually these actions provide benefits to the Townsville community and economy, however collectively they have the ability to transform and energise Townsville’s CBD. The Property Council’s Townsville Chapter has actively promoted and championed the revitalisation of the CBD since its inception in 2011 and delivering on, not only the actions from 2014, but those that have been brought in through subsequent plans for the CBD are part of the catalyst for the CBD’s transformation.
It is critical that policymakers in Brisbane ensure that the funding that has been made available as part of the Building the Regions program for the waterfront promenade project results in construction activity in the near future. We cannot afford to have this project kicked down the road any further.
Australia is experiencing a transformation of our cities, driven by population growth which saw our national population last week tick over the 25 million mark. At our next Townsville lunch, on Friday 31 August, the Property Council will explore this topic in more detail and what it means for Townsville and the North Queensland region.