Major Projects exploited in North Queensland
Hell’s Gate Dam and the Australian-Singapore Military Training major projects, nominally valued collectively at $7.55 billion over 25 years, could improve economic opportunities for North Queensland and Townsville.
Both major projects are located outside the Townsville local government area. However, the economic impact is not attributable to the Townsville economic zone and must be put into proper and responsible economic context.
Firstly, the major projects are unlikely to impact significantly on property values in the Townsville market in the long term.
The optimistic sentiment expressed by property commentators who do not live, work or do business in the North, do not understand that the core production skills and capabilities of emerging supply-chains serving major projects are deployed outside the region.
These skills are science, technology, engineering and math skills.
Major projects knowledge point to supply-chain analysis failure
Local property experts who have experienced first hand the economic dynamics in terms of supply chain production, points to disproportionate regulations and administration bias of governance and enterprise decisions outside the North Queensland region as hidden factors.
The State-based conflicts of interest and global competition framework in which the federal purse strings are constrained, presents unforeseen risks in the North Queensland investment pipeline. Yet these risks are yielding certainty of results in that the forecasts and projections of economic and social benefits are being overstated by alien analysts.
Projections of the Townsville property market being “supercharged” by Hell’s Gate and the ASMT projects are a further case in point.
In the mist of the material example of conflict on the Townsville Water Duplication Project, now subject to a political disputes on GST payments and electioneering promises of the State, this certainty of supply conflicts in regulations and governance is all too familiar to North Queensland experts and residents.
And, this political and economic dissonance is harming the interests of North Queensland investors and residents.
North under represented in Boardrooms and Cabinet
Whether the commentary is focused on mining projects like $22 billion Adani project, green projects at Kidston or solar farms at Kelso, Smart City deal football stadiums, declared special development zones in the CBD, or infrastructure investments from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund, North Queensland’s regional population base and limited representation in boardrooms and around cabinet tables makes it a soft target of political and corporate gas lighting and pork barreling.
News Corporation’s fly-in-fly-out journalists are no different.
Spin on North Queensland Major Projects
The Townsville Bulletin, although seen as a welcome promoter of North Queensland, journalist Sophie Foster claims that the “Prosperity Pipeline will lift the North.”
Quoting the usual property expert contributors, the News Corporation masthead paper in North Queensland reports that;
“Fresh research has identified 10 major infrastructure projects predicted to lift property markets nationwide, with Townsville among 25 locations set to supercharge. This report continued;
“The projects, spread from the Far North to Hobart, were expected to be a game-changer for property markets that had languished in some areas, according to Propertyology head of research Simon Pressley.
Coupled with the current record low interest rates, Mr Pressley said, one of the most exciting things for Australian real estate was “the biggest ever pipeline of major projects” .
“Of all the projects that have potential to move property markets, these have the potential to move them the most,” he said.
Among the top 10 projects, two were deemed to have the potential to shift the Townsville property market : the $2.25bn Australia-Singapore military training hubs and the $5.3bn proposed Hells Gates Dam.
“Townsville has very, very tight vacancy rates at the moment — rents are actually rising in Townsville , property prices are actually rising in Townsville, because there is pressure on the supply of housing,” Mr Pressley said.
“Housing is affordable there: buyers can take advantage of $350,000 only for a good quality house in Townsville, so that’s driving the market from the bottom up.”
He said the Australian and Singaporean federal governments had signed an agreement for Australia to provide advance military training to 14,000 Singaporean military personnel every year for 25 years.
“In addition to construction jobs, the 25-year provision of goods and services to trainees will provide long-term economic benefits for Rockhampton and Townsville, increasing the demand for real estate in both … cities,” Mr Pressley said. “Twenty-five years is a long period of time. That’s where it’s so different; most projects take a number of years and then it’s finished.”
Mr Pressley said a lot of northern Australia would win from the $5.3bn Hells Gates Dam lifting agribusiness and general economic development.
“According to a viability assessment conducted by Townsville Enterprise, if Hells Gates Dam is developed to full capacity, it has potential to inject billions of dollars into the North Queensland economy,” he said. “The property market beneficiaries of this game-changing project will be Cairns, Townsville, Innisfail, Ingham, Ayr and Charters Towers.”
Mr Pressley said that proposal had already had an estimated $54m spent on feasibility and assessment.
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