Big names move in
WITH the Surat Basin boom in full swing, the flow-on effects for the Darling Downs and south-west region are penetrating communities with an increase in employment opportunities for skilled and unskilled labour.
As the energy, gas and mining landscape evolves, so does the need for large scale industrial facilities for international, national and local companies who are relocating to the south-west to establish a base to service the Surat Basin energy province.
Toowoomba's largest industrial land development, Witmack Industry Park located at Charlton, 15 minutes west of Toowoomba, is a purpose-built facility that has experienced a hive of activity and enquiry since construction and infrastructure works began 12 months ago.
FK Gardner and Sons development manager and Urban Development Institute president for Toowoomba, Dallas Hunter, has been impressed with the level of interest from external companies, and recognises the benefits the introduction of these facilities will provide to the region.
"It is important for the Darling Downs community to understand that the introduction of companies of this nature to the Toowoomba market will bring increased employment opportunities, and we will see a positive flow-on effect in housing, schools, retail and general business," Mr Hunter said.
In one year the site has progressed from dormant paddocks to fully developed large industrial lots ranging from 1.8 hectares to 25ha, spanning a total area of 230.5 acres, which is equivalent to 130 football fields.
Manufacturing plants for large scale polyethylene pipe providers Iplex Pipelines and Vinidex have been constructed, with Iplex operating two manufacturing lines and Vinidex set to begin trading in the next four weeks.
It is anticipated these two businesses alone will provide upwards of 150 new jobs for the community.
Saxon and Savanna Energy have also committed to the development, with construction works on their new premises scheduled to start in the next three months.
Each of these companies holds contracts with well known gas companies in the Surat Basin and are actively recruiting to strengthen their workforce.
Mr Hunter noted that while the development had progressed considerably, there was still plenty of opportunity to follow for the region.
"By large scale companies like Iplex and Saxon choosing to establish their operations in Toowoomba, they are demonstrating their faith in the region to provide them with the workers and easily accessible suppliers to carry out their projects" Mr Hunter said.
Learn more online: visit the FKG website