Townsville growing despite headwinds

Date published: 24 May 2023

Despite an unprecedented environment of rising costs Council continues to see strong investment and growth in the city, with $30m in commercial approvals and $55m in residential approvals over the last quarter.

This data was presented to Council at April’s Ordinary Council meeting as part of the 2022/23 Q3 Development Activity Report.

A total of 43 commercial approvals made up the total of $30m investment, with the development of educational facilities (improvements) and the further expansion of warehouse and showroom facilities leading the way in this sector.

The value of building approvals in Council is now $459m in the 2022-23 April financial year to date.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said the residential and commercial development demonstrates continued confidence in the city’s long-term strategic importance as an economic powerhouse.

“For this reporting period, the education investment has increased by some 61 per cent in comparison to the previous quarter,” Cr Hill said.

“The ongoing investment in education, highlights Townsville as an established centre for education in regional Australia”

The report also highlighted quarter three’s 43 commercial building approvals, continuing a strong trend in the rolling 2022/23 financial year of 52 approvals per quarter.

“Council is working hard to activate Townsville through its City Activation and Jobs Growth Policy, which helps to attract jobs and businesses to the city,” Cr Hill said.

“Retail and Education sectors continue to see a level of approvals which represents a significant investment in the liveability of the city.

“These great building approvals per quarter numbers continues to show that business owners and investors have a consistent confidence in the Townsville market.”

Townsville Enterprise CEO, Claudia Brumme-Smith said the latest report from Townsville City Council presented promising growth for Townsville.

"Townsville and our surrounding regions are primed with opportunity. The State's recent announcement of CopperString 2032 as well as the supporting announcements around critical minerals and renewable energy projects demonstrates that all eyes are on Townsville North Queensland," Mrs Brumme-Smith said.

"The region is blessed with a diverse economy, with no industry making up more than 15 per cent of the Gross Regional Product. We've seen growth across most sectors - from investment into defence, education and health to increased aviation capacity."

New dwellings continue to represent the bulk of the residential investment in Townsville and of the $55m in residential approvals over $34m came from new homes.

Approvals for specialty homes ($4,028,526), swimming pools ($3,303,140) and sheds/carports ($4,981,000) were also strong.

“These strong residential approval figures show Council is continuing to grow Townsville into a vibrant city centred around inclusive connected neighbourhood through increasing the city’s population density within the existing urban footprint,” Cr Hill said.

Some of Townsville’s latest successes include:

  • Townsville's Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct declared a prescribed project to fast-track approvals
  • Queensland Pacific Metals $2b battery refinery received Significant Investment Project status for their Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub at Lansdown
  • Construction has commenced on a major expansion of two new facilities at the Bohle TAFE Campus. A new $12.5 million Renewable Energy
  • Training Facility and a $4.7 million Advanced Manufacturing Skills Lab
  • Queensland State Government committed $5 billion to build the CopperString electricity transmission project to expand the National Electricity Market from Townsville to Mount Isa. CopperString 2032 will sustain 20,000 existing jobs and unlock the region's $740 billion worth of untapped known minerals. Unleashing 33GW of green energy potential along the mineral province corridor
  • State Government $47.5m joint venture with EGH2 to develop green hydrogen at Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct
  • State Government $75m commitment to developing critical minerals demonstration hub at Cleveland Industrial Park
  • Vecco announced a $26 million vanadium electrolyte manufacturing facility in Townsville. The facility will employ 21 people and produce enough electrolytes for 175-megawatt hours, growing to 350 megawatt hours of storage annually
  • Townsville welcomed the new airline Bonza and direct connections between Townsville Airport, the Sunshine Coast and Rockhampton
  • Confirmation of a $30m Police academy
  • Major commercial development approvals (Hilton, Ardo, The Strand)
  • $800m International investment to purchase Queensland Nickel

Visit Council’s Planning and Building Approval page for more information about development and planning in Townsville.