CBD ideas clear

Earlier this year, the Property Council and Townsville Chamber jointly hosted a workshop on revitalising Townsville’s CBD, with key stakeholders including Townsville City Council, Townsville Enterprise, the Queensland Government and James Cook University.

A key focus of the workshop was investigating how to breathe new life into ageing commercial buildings in Townsville’s city centre to stimulate flow-on economic benefits.

We were pleased to see that during his visit to Townsville last week, Premier Campbell Newman announced a commitment of $250,000 toward a feasibility study to investigate alternative uses for the State Government’s building on the corner of Stanley and Walker streets.

This commitment from the Government acknowledges that not only are many of our buildings in need of a revamp but that the property industry is at the top of the food chain when it comes to providing for our city.

Money invested in development leads to jobs for those directly employed within the property industry, as well as delivering flow-on benefits through taxes, rates and the delivery of new facilities such as parks, roads and schools for our community.

With over 13 per cent of Townsville’s Gross State Product generated by the property industry, both government and the community have a vested interest in ensuring the industry remains in good health.

Through its $250,000 commitment to investigate further uses of this underused asset, the Government is acknowledging that a small investment in the property industry can deliver many times the original investment in social and economic returns.

We were also pleased to see the Government’s commitment of $4.2 million toward the bus hub on Ogden St, a project the Property Council has supported for many years.

Again, not only will the bus hub deliver much-needed infrastructure to our CBD, it will also deliver flow-on benefits through the creation of jobs for those directly and indirectly employed in the property industry, as well as social benefits through creating a safer, more efficient transit area.

As we head into the festive season and the end of another committee term, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Townsville Chapter for its contribution to the Property Council and broader industry over the past two years.

I would particularly like to acknowledge our inaugural chairman, John Quinlan, who will be stepping down from this role in 2015, after four years at the helm.

During the 2013-14 committee term, the Property Council has welcomed the input of 220 committee members across Queensland, sitting on 15 roundtables and committees.

Without our volunteers so generously giving their time and knowledge to support our advocacy work we would not have been able to secure major reforms to a range of property laws and legislation.

Thank you to all our members for your ongoing support, and I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday.

I look forward to updating you in the new year, when we will welcome a new committee and a new chairman of the Property Council’s Townsville Chapter.

Chris Mountford is the Queensland Executive Director at the Property Council of Australia

This piece was first published in the Townsville Bulletin