Rockhampton Region Mayor Margaret Strelow is upbeat about the region’s future.
Rockhampton Region Mayor Margaret Strelow is upbeat about the region’s future.

Strelow says our region poised to capitalise

MARGARET Strelow has been Rockhampton mayor for the best part of 16 years so she’s seen plenty of ups and downs.

The good news is she believes the region has emerged out the better side of the tough times and is ready to capitalise on new projects and growth.

The latest dose of positivity was delivered last Friday when Mackay’s largest civil construction company, Vassallo Constructions, announced its expansion into Rockhampton in a move that it said would create up to 100 new local jobs within two to three years.

On the back of that, and recent Adani Mining developments, Cr Strelow is upbeat about the region’s immediate future.

“I’m having accountants tell me they’re out there doing their end-of-year reports and they can see an up-tick at the end of the last financial year in their clients books,” Cr Strelow said.

“Certainly we’re getting those reports from real estate and the various experts who come to town talking about how they see the region.

“We know that a lot of this is on the back of those big infrastructure projects so we need them to roll out.

“I don’t see that it’s all Adani driven, but there’s a sense that we’re cutting through and I think that’s an important thing.”

When asked to rate her levels of positivity now in relation to her 16 years in office, Cr Strelow said it was “all very subjective.”

“But I’m certainly delighted to see things feeling so good,” she said.

“We’ve had some tough times in particular during that period straight after de-amalgamation, it was just tough.

“Lots of negative headlines and lots of difficulty for the whole region really as we adjusted to the new normal, but we’re right now.”

Initially two staff will be based at Vassallo Constructions’ new Rockhampton office in Denham Street - a general manager and a project manager - with plans to grow the number of locally-based employees significantly.