GOOD NUMBERS: Inside RCR Tomlinson's heavy engineering facility.
GOOD NUMBERS: Inside RCR Tomlinson's heavy engineering facility. The Observer

Former premier buys $6.2m Gladstone industrial facility

HE WAS the former premier who wanted sell off Gladstone Port but now the "bullish" investor has bought into Gladstone to the tune of $6.2 million.

INVESTMENTS | High profile premier invests in Gladstone industrial facility

Campbell Newman's property investment company Arcana Capital sunk $6.2 million into buying South Gladstone's RCR Tomlinson's heavy engineering facility.

Mr Newman and his business partner Dominic Condon had been eyeing off the property since last year and started making moves on the property in December.

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BIRDSEYE: Former premier bought the property for $6.2 million.
BIRDSEYE: Former premier bought the property for $6.2 million. Google

Mr Newman started Arcana after Queensland voters revolted against his Liberal National Party and swept him from power in 2015.

However since his fall from grace Mr Newman has proved quite an astute businessman, snapping up industrial properties throughout Central Queensland for bargain basement prices.

Seizing on the downturn in Gladstone and a resurgent resources sector Mr Condon said he thought "the future was bright" in Gladstone and that now was a "good time to get in".

MEETS LOCALS: Campbell Newman makes an announcement at the GLadstone Hospital. Photo Brenda Strong/The Observer
MEETS LOCALS: Campbell Newman makes an announcement at the GLadstone Hospital. Photo Brenda Strong/The Observer Brenda Strong GLA270411CAMB

"Regional Queensland is in the same boat at the moment but when it comes to coal and resources we are quite bullish," Mr Condon said.

"When you look at industrial property you look at the infrastructure around it and when you've got the port doing well and the turnaround in coal...the world needs coal.

"We also look at the tenant and if you look at RCR's numbers they're really good across its divisions so when you've got a company of the calibre of RCR...it's a good bet.

"But we're not just betting on the region now, we are talking in three or four year's time."

HOT PROPERTY: Campbell Newman's property investment company Arcana sinks $6.2 million into Gladstone market.
HOT PROPERTY: Campbell Newman's property investment company Arcana sinks $6.2 million into Gladstone market. Gladstone Markup

Burgess Rawson director of sales Glenn Conridge said Arcana's decision to pick up the RCR Tomlinson property would net the company $605,241 a year in profit.

He also said RCR still had a 12 year lease on the property, which could be extended to 2029 if the engineering heavy weight chose to continue on in Gladstone.

"There is a positive opinion in the market with buyers looking at regional areas like Gladstone with recurrence of improved coal prices, and a belief the market might have bottomed out," Mr Conridge said.

Although Mr Condon said Arcana's foray into mining services in regional Queensland had been a risk, he believed that fortune favoured the brave.

Former Queensland premier Campbell Newman heads a group that bought the UGL warehouses in Paget for $10 million.
Former Queensland premier Campbell Newman heads a group that bought the UGL warehouses in Paget for $10 million. Campbell Gellie

"The risk was we were wrong and the resources sector didn't turn around but what I didn't expect was how fast it turned around," he said.

"You make your own luck but you need a solid tenant and if it wasn't for the companies underpinning those assets you'd be stuck with empty warehouses."

While Mr Condon said Arcana was not looking at any other properties in Gladstone, the town was on his "radar".

"We believe in the fundamentals of the region and we're more than happy to invest," he said.



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