By LEE McIVORlmcivor@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org
'EVERY powerhouse state needs a town with muscle and Gladstone is that town.'
That's the opinion of leading demographer and social commentator Bernard Salt.
Mr Salt has predicted Gladstone will be one of the hottest property markets in the country in his latest research publication 'Australians On The Move'.
Mr Salt said Gladstone filled a market niche no other town in the state or the country filled.
'Gladstone's positioning is very strategic,'' he said.
'Queensland has evolved without an industrial heartland.
'Now it has reached the four million mark in population, it needs and must foster its own industrial city.
'However unlike Geelong or Newcastle, Gladstone is a new age industrial town of the 21st Century.'
No old-fashioned smokestacks for Gladstone, said Mr Salt, rather a blend of industrial worker muscle with lifestyle.
'This is a proud industrial town and it will continue to play a pivotal role in the operation of this state, more so than the Gold Coast or the Sunshine Coast,' he added.
The comments came as no surprise to Gladstone mayor Peter Corones, who pointed to the economic growth of the region as a telling tale of the region's future prosperity.
'You only need to look at the Project Status Report. The immediate region has $17 billion in projects,' Councillor Corones said.
He also pointed to the boost in tourism infrastructure as another aspect to our region.
According to Cr Corones, the future prospects of the entire region had always been obvious.
'We don't have to prove anything to anyone, we are already a mighty powerhouse,' he said.
Calliope Shire Council mayor George Creed agreed.
'In the past we have been driven by industrial development but now that is changing,' he said.
'The Calliope Shire is fast becoming a sea change destination and that is being driven by the number of residential developments in the planning stage.'
Cr Creed said Calliope was concentrating on driving residential development to cater for the projected industrial expansion plans.