Why CQ's economy is shaping up for a good year
WITH some of the region's biggest projects now "within touching distance”, Chamber of Commerce president Peter Fraser believes the Central Queensland economy is gearing up for a good financial year.
Mr Fraser said his talks with local businesses, plus Queensland's Chamber of Commerce and Industry, indicated "business confidence is well and truly on the improve”.
Although there have been "lumpy” moments in the past year, including the collapse of JM Kelly Group, Mr Fraser said positive announcements of projects like Shoalwater Bay and the South Rockhampton Flood Levee were boosting business.
"The art gallery in particular, that's the sort of placemaking project that really gives the region some zing ... the same way the foreshore development has revitalised Yeppoon,” he said.
Mr Fraser said he wasn't ignoring the fact there were still businesses doing it tough, but there were struggles even in strong economic times.
"I think people are starting to see the green shoots of what should be a fairly buoyant economy later this year and into 2020,” he said.
He said decent rain in western Queensland would "put a cap on a lot of issues”, but overall the economy was in as good a shape as he had seen it in the past six years.
In terms of physical indicators of business confidence, Mr Fraser said recent commercial real estate sales were obvious signs that things were going well.
He said the relatively fast sale of the former Bunnings site surprised him, while the Giddy Goat sale showed Rockhampton was shaking off its history of floods after the announcement of the South Rockhampton Flood Levee.
"Whilst we haven't seen the actual physical businesses filling up our streets, there's clearly a lot more interest in Rockhampton as an investment prospect,” Mr Fraser said.
Mr Fraser expects finalisation of Adani to again boost the economy and increase cash-flow locally.