Mining families move on Rocky
DON'T call it a boom, call it steady growth.
That was how chief executive of Capricorn Tourism and Economic Development (CTEDL) Mary Carroll characterised the growth the Rockhampton region is experiencing as a result of the resource sector boom.
As Rockhampton Regional Council discussed how it would deal with the growing pains the changes were already bringing, Ms Carroll said the outlook for the future was "buoyant".
She said evidence was already coming in to CTEDL that mining families were moving to the Rockhampton region, with a marked increase in foot traffic to visitors' centres on Gladstone Rd and in Yeppoon.
Ms Carroll said visitor surveys had revealed a majority of the participants were aged between 18 and 35, with young families who had either recently moved to the area, or were planning to.
She said that the region was uniquely placed to get both the residential growth, in places like Gracemere and Capricorn Coast, as well as new industrial services and businesses opening up in town, citing several examples, from builders like Glenzeil to retailers like Chemist Warehouse and training group Coal Train.
And while Tiger Airways will not be returning to Rockhampton Airport any time soon, director David Blackwell yesterday told council that one charter pilot was looking to base a new jet operation at the airport, servicing the fly-in fly-out Bowen Basin mines.
Ms Carroll said one of the key developments that needed to happen in order to allow the successful growth of the region was the raising of a five kilometre section of the Bruce Highway on the Yeppen Floodplain.
But, she said, the capital works would cost about $500 million, and that was the amount allocated in the state budget for the highway.