Council prepares for development surge

By KRYSTEN BOOTHbooth@gladstoneobserver.com.au

GLADSTONE'S best investment in the future could be a crystal ball.

With experts predicting an investment boom in the region in coming years, the Gladstone City Council is busy preparing for the ensuing development.

Council assessment and development manager Andrew Kearns said planning for the future was proving to be a big challenge.

'It's very hard to know what's going to happen,' Mr Kearns said.

'Particularly in Gladstone because we're so dependent on industrial growth which is very dependent on global demand.'

He was commenting following a report in The Observer yesterday which listed Gladstone as one of the best six cities in Australia to invest in during the next 30 years.

KPMG partner Bernard Salt, who helped prepare the report for the Property Council of Australia, said Gladstone would need assistance from federal and state governments to deal with the growth.

'This report probably gives the council a bit more leverage for infrastructure funding from the federal and state governments,' Mr Salt said.

'You can't pay for what's required from the rate base I wouldn't think.'

With a planning scheme already before the state government, Mr Kearns said the council was confident it could handle the influx.

'The work that's been done in the past couple of years ? we're better placed than when the Comalco project first started,' he said.



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