Vision for massive new industrial estate at Parkhurst
SIX iconic silos will remain, on Rockhampton’s old Yaamba Road cement works site, but nearly everything else will make way for a new, 50-hectare industrial estate.
Jason Thomasson has submitted plans to council for his company, the JRT Group, to subdivide the land south to the new service road off Boundary Road and west to the existing railway line.
With a “fair bit of interest” already expressed in the new blocks, Mr Thomasson hopes to see neighbours move in by Christmas.
JRT’s workshops, freight and waste operations already occupy 22 acres of the northern portion of the block and they will undergo extensive renovations as work begins on levelling the nearby grounds for new roads and one-hectare industrial sites for sale.
“We’ll probably have 15 of our staff working on the renovations and we’ll bring in about 10 contractors to do the specialist, demolition work,” Mr Thomasson said.
“We’re really excited because JRT is all about creating local jobs for local people.”
JRT has seen workers, who started as trainees with the company 12 years ago, stay on the job and now they’re helping train up seven apprentices.
Mr Thomasson can’t speak yet about who might be moving onsite, but he said there existed great potential for “synergy” between different companies.
“We’ve got our own transport and waste services as well as the civil construction workshops,” he said.
“Probably 80 per cent of the city’s truck yards are in Parkhurst now so it would make sense for someone with a transport company or who needs work done on their vehicles to move here too.”
After 14 years at the head of the JRT Group, Mr Thomasson – who moved his operations in from Yeppoon two years ago - sees a bright future for innovation in the region.
“Once the Ring Road is complete, we’ll be able to access western towns such as Emerald and Blackwater without going through the city centre,” he said.
“There’s a billion dollars of work on the Shoalwater Bay access started to flow now, and Adani’s recommendations to hire Central Queensland workers has seen a lot of workers move into the areas.
“The post-COVID stimulus packages have created a lot of interest for companies such as Chris Warren Homes to get ahead of the game by building new residences just west of this site, in Edenbrook, for example.
“With so much construction heading our way, Central Queensland in general, and this area around Parkhurst, is a great place for companies to set up shop.”
As for those old silos, JRT is open to having them painted, similar to the ‘mural trails’ which have become a dominant feature of tourist campaigns elsewhere in Australia, and will seek public opinion over how that might be done.