Big things tipped in few years for city

By ALLAN McNEILallanm@gladstoneobserver.com.au

ANY apparent slowdown in the local region will soon be a thing of the past, according to Gladstone's peak industrial and economic board.

Gladstone Economic and Industry Development Board (GEIDB) chair Dr Ken King is predicting big things on the industrial front in the next 'three to five years' and is asking locals to be patient.

With no significant industrial projects under construction in the region and locals waiting with bated breath for some sort of announcement, The Observer went to Dr King this week to set the record straight.

The State Government's 2002 Gladstone Growth Management Initiative listed $9560 million worth of projects for the region.

However of the 15 projects listed, the only one that has come to fruition is stage one of the Comalco Alumina Refinery

'I think it's (Gladstone's situation) is significantly better than it has been in the past,' Dr King said

Dr King said there were a number of projects "on the drawing board'' for the region including the much-awaited Aldoga Aluminium Smelter, Comalco Alumina Refinery Stage two, Gladstone Nickel Plant and Queensland Alumina Limited expansion.

'You can't tell me that's at the bottom of the cycle,' Dr King said.

However with these projects announced some time ago and no obvious progress to date, locals are becoming increasingly frustrated.

Dr King said while residents could not see any noticeable progress on the construction front, the wheels were still in motion.

'I think over the next three to five years we'll see all these projects coming on line,' Dr King predicted.

Over the coming days The Observer will run a series of stories on the industrial projects we are all waiting on, including time lines of their history.



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