WORKING: The Bundaberg Multiplex.
WORKING: The Bundaberg Multiplex. Contributed

Bundaberg riding a wave in non residential building growth

WHEN Bundaberg Regional Council claims that it is "building a better future” for the region it has the runs on the board to support that assertion.

Commercial and industrial approvals in the Bundaberg region to October last year have risen by a staggering 73% over the previous year's figures with approval values topping $144 million.

Mayor Jack Dempsey said the figures indicate the wave of investment and development that the Bundaberg region rode in 2016 has actually translated into major job creating projects.

"I believe the Bundaberg region was unparalleled across regional Queensland last year when it came to increased growth in the commercial and industrial construction sector,” he said.

"To date our region is a star performer with our approval growth in excess of 70% dwarfing the Queensland commercial and industrial construction sector growth average of around 25%.

"Council certainly played a significant role in supporting the resurrection of the region's commercial and industrial construction sector with projects like the Multiuse facility and Rubyanna contributing strongly to the overall investment figure which is exceeding $144 million.

"However, it has been the diversity of projects received by Council during the reporting period ending October last year that is indicative of the broad base of commercial and industrial activity across the Bundaberg Region.

Cr Dempsey said projects as big as the $71 million Knauf plasterboard factory and ongoing Palm Lakes Resort expansion through to mid-range projects like the Stockwells new Coles project at Kensington and Council's new animal control facility at Qunaba were key economic drivers.

"There were also a host of smaller projects that simply kept adding to the momentum that had been established through the investment by Council and the supporting project partnership contributions made by the State and Federal Governments,” he said.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION: A skeleton of the Knauf plasterboard factory at Bundaberg Port.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION: A skeleton of the Knauf plasterboard factory at Bundaberg Port. Mike Knott BUN250816KNAUF6

The Mayor said he was looking forward to the region building on the progressive drive achieved over the past 12 months.

"These projects represent much more than simply a bottom line figure on a statistics sheet. They are about jobs and sustaining the viability of local businesses while creating new opportunities,” he said.

"Already we have a great kick start to 2017 with the announcement of a new 289 bed short stay accommodation facility at Gin Gin valued at upwards of $5 million.

"I sincerely believe the Bundaberg Region is on track to achieve recognition as the premier region in the Wide Bay area.”

Cr Dempsey said that although housing construction had dipped slightly during the same period he remained confident that job creation projects would lead to an increase in land purchase and home construction locally.



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