Invest in Townsville | Northern Queensland
Long regarded as the capital of North Queensland, Townsville’s sustained growth has confirmed its standing as the most dynamic city in Northern Australia.
With a population of approximately 190,000, the city and its services are predicted to expand to become home to an additional 100,000 residents over the next two decades.
Positioned in the tropics and anchored by the Australian Defence Force and manufacturing industries, the city is set to move from a regional centre to a vibrant metropolitan city.
Townsville is the transport and logistics hub for the mineral and agricultural industries of greater North Queensland. It is unlike any other regional city in Australia of comparable size, in that it is closely connected to the future prosperity of the country though its broad base of industry and government sectors.
Townsville boasts three major natural resource refineries and a multi-cargo port, which in turn has created a large heavy industry services and supplier sector. Further, it has the largest government sector in Queensland outside of Brisbane. At the time of the 2006 Census, there were over 17,000 government employees working in local, state and federal agencies.
The construction sector has seen continual growth with approximately $7 billion worth of projects underway or awaiting start.
Townsville has built and nurtured knowledge-based industries and continues to look for even better ways of doing business and incorporating innovation and improvement in their delivery of services. Offering stability, urban concentration and prosperity with a unique mix of employment drivers, the city’s residents enjoy one of the highest average disposable incomes in Australia.
And that’s just the start! Over 300 days of sunshine each year, affordable house prices (when compared with Australian capital cities) and low unemployment levels all contribute to the popularity of the city with people looking for a new start.
It’s no wonder that Townsville is quickly becoming an economic power-house and preferred lifestyle choice. The future is looking bright for a city that is on the rise.
North Queensland Facts & Figures
Townsville Enterprise can provide you with all the information required to assist in making your decision. Below is a snapshot of the latest statistical data for the region. For a full regional statistical profile please contact our team.
A region on the rise | No other Australian region boasts the resilience, diversity, lifestyle and economic potential that Townsville and North Queensland enjoys.
Townsville and the immediate North Queensland region has a 227,340 strong population projected to grow to 317,753 by 2031.
The region has experienced strong and steady economic growth with an average increase of 10% over the past decade. A commitment to infrastructure investment and plan for a sustainable approach to economic growth without compromising lifestyle ensures the continual economic growth and development of the region.
Land availability, abundant water and transport links to the Asia–Pacific and a superb tropical lifestyle mean that the region offers investment potential like no other.
Take a sneak peak at Townsville and North Queensland and learn how you can become part of a region that is on the rise!
The North Queensland region includes the local government areas of:
- Burdekin Shire
- Hinchinbrook Shire
- Charters Towers
North Queensland Economy
- Gross Regional Product (GRP) increased by 2.14% in 2009/10 to $12.32 billion.
- The region has experienced strong and steady economic growth over the past decade with an average of over 10% nominal growth per annum.
- There are no signs of the region’s growth slowing down, with almost $56 billion worth of mining, construction and infrastructure projects in the pipeline.
- With a strong vision for the future, diversity and balance underpins the economy of the Townsville and North Queensland region. No single sector of the economy contributes more than 13% to the region’s economy, ensuring manageable growth during boom times and stability during downturn.
- Some key contributors to the region’s Gross Regional Product include the manufacturing, property and business services and construction sectors. These, in addition to defence, education and retail, helped to maintain an average unemployment rate for the North. North West Statistical Division well below the Queensland and Australian averages. Unemployment for the region was 4.3% for the two years to January 2011.
- Three major mineral processing plants operate in the region, these are Sun Metals Zinc Refinery, Queensland Nickel Limited and Xstrata Copper. These compliment the region’s strong links to Mt Isa and the mining industry of North West Queensland.
- During one of the most turbulent periods of world economics, the Townsville and North Queensland region maintained growth in its strong property market. Prospects are excellent thanks to underlying demand for housing rising from continued high levels of population growth.
Population & Unemployment
- Total North Queensland Population: 231,628
- The region’s population is projected to increase to 346, 262 by 2031
- The current unemployment rate for the region is 6.2%
- The Townsville Region has an exceptionally diverse economy, with industry and employment opportunities based around its strengths in minerals processing, tropical science and expertise, education and research, agribusiness and defence. Continued growth in investment, particularly in mining and ongoing public infrastructure spending, is expected to improve the region’s employment opportunities.
- Thousands of people are moving to the region each year seeking employment opportunities, a better lifestyle and to be part of a region that is on the rise.
Looking for an investment property? The North Queensland region has a large and diverse range of housing options available that will suit the needs and desires of potential investors, from modern, chic city units to the older style Queenslander’s. Investors securing new homes in growth housing estates which are sought after by tenants wanting modern new homes to live in.
Median House Prices for North Queensland
- Townsville : $374,000
- Charters Towers: $245,000
- Hinchinbrook: $299,000
- Burdekin: $213,000
The North Queensland region has a large and diverse range of housing options available to suit the varying needs and desires of its residents. From modern, chic city units to the traditional style Queenslanders, there are numerous options available on both the rental and purchase markets, making North Queensland a dynamic and liveable location.
According to the latest Real Estate Institute of Queensland figures, the current median house price for Townsville is a very affordable $370,000 compared with Brisbane’s $531,170.
North Queensland Median House Prices
- Townsville $370,000
- Charters Towers $245,000
- Hinchinbrook $299,000
- Burdekin $240,000
North Queensland has a number of industrial and office space opportunities for those looking to establish a business or invest in the region. According to Herron Todd White, office rents range from $150-$350 per square meter depending on location and quality.
Access to industrial land is available in all four regions of North Queensland. With rail lines directly into the Port of Townsville, companies can take advantage of rural life in the Burdekin, Charters Towers, or Hinchinbrook. For those choosing to locate into Townsville, opportunities are available in a number of locations catering for both industrial and commercial allotments.
Key Industry Sectors
Businesses can take advantage of the region’s diverse and growing economy, which has more than doubled over the past decade to approximately $12 billion.
As the Gross Regional Product figures below indicate, no single industry sector contributes more than 13% to the region’s economy, ensuring manageable growth during boom times and stability during the recent financial crisis.
With up to 700 cargo and 30 naval visits the Port of Townsville is a catalyst and a partner in establishing and developing trade within North Queensland. The Port of Townsville is Queensland’s third largest multicargo port with a diverse product base. The port is well adapted to handle bulk cargo with current facilities developed to service containerised cargo, the sugar industry, Queensland Nickel Limited and products from the North West Mineral Province including bulk copper, lead and zinc concentrates and fertiliser.
With up to 700 cargo and 30 naval visits annually, in addition to cruise and bunkering vessels, the port and its associated industries for a world class gateway for global trade and commerce.
In 2009/10, international exports out of the Port of Townsville alone were valued at more than $5.58 billion, making a significant contribution to the regional economy and community including over 1,000 full time equivalent jobs within the local area.
Roads and rail links
The North Queensland region is located on major national and state highway systems. The Townsville ring road provides a high-speed bypass around the city’s expanding residential corridors to connect the Bruce Highway north and south of Townsville.
With the Bruce Highway running north and south and the Flinders Highway running west, the region is serviced well by major road infrastructure. The region also hosts major rail networks including the north coast line running between Brisbane and Cairns, and the Mount Isa to Townsville line, running out to the west of the region.
Doing business in North Queensland is easy. With over 25,000 aircraft seats servicing Townsville every week, Qantas, Qantaslink, Virgin Blue, Jetstar, Rex Airlines and charter flights by Alliance Airlines make it easy to travel to and from the region.
The Townsville Airport is also an international gateway allowing international charter operations to fly directly to North Queensland. Direct flights to most capital cities and to Asia from Townsville makes business travel accessible.
Within the Townsville Airport precinct is the Northern Australian Aerospace Centre of Excellence which has over 17ha of airport land for development. It is a unique hub housing aerospace and support industries to service commercial and defence clients.
Mining and Minerals
The North Queensland region has abundant natural resources. The North-North West’s mineral and mining opportunities continue to expand, with an estimated $2.3 billion worth of investment in the North West Minerals Province expected to get underway between 2009/10 and 2014/15.
According the to North East Mineral Province Economic Potential report by James Cook University, there are 21 mineral deposits being explored for viability in the North East Minerals Province with a potential output of $730 million a year until 2020. Expansions also look likely for the region with the announcement of further gold mining to commence in the Charters Towers area, Australia’s richest goldfield.
The entire North Queensland region has a booming farming and livestock sector with many opportunities available. The abundance of water, good quality of soils and supporting transport and associated infrastructure provide emerging agricultural based organisations with an excellent foundation for success.
Sustainability and Innovation
According to the Australian Conservation Foundation, Townsville is the fourth most sustainable city in Australia, scoring well on transport, biodiversity, health, employment and household debt.
With more and more focus on sustainable practices throughout the world, North Queensland is quickly becoming a powerhouse in sustainable, best-practice tropical expertise and design. Encompassing a range of vital industries from architectural design, engineering, to research and medicine, North Queensland companies are becoming leaders in their chosen fields. Our location and experience in the tropics allows these industries to stand apart from other organisations in providing similar products and services.
An example of the innovation taking place in the region is the Townsville Solar Cities project. The city is one of only seven that were chosen to be part of the $94 million Australian Government Solar Cities initiative. Led by Ergon Energy in a consortium that includes Townsville City Council, the program is working closely with industry, businesses and the local community to cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50,000 tonnes.
In addition, Townsville’s reputation as a centre of excellence for tropical expertise and sustainability is demonstrated with numerous world class research facilities including;
- James Cook University – the university undertakes numerous research projects to address the challenges of the tropics including Tropical Ecosystems and Conservation and Tropical Health, Medicine and Biosecurity.
- Australian Institute of Marine Science (AI MS) – a world class research centre with capabilities in marine biodiversity, impacts and adaption to climate change, water quality and ecosystem health.
- CSIRO – Australia’s national science agency is one of the largest and most diverseagencies in the world.
- Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBR MPA ) – the principal advisor to the Australian Government to control, care and develop the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
Townsville and North Queensland is acting on the opportunities climate change present. It is a diverse region with a strong commitment to its natural environment.
Education and Skills
Offering world-class education from prep through to tertiary level in quality education services and facilities you can be assured of a solid education in the North Queensland region with numerous educational facilities from tertiary and vocational through to trades training.
Hosting over 60 state schools and 11 state high schools, the region is also home to numerous private schools at primary and secondary levels. Boarding options are abundant and first class primary and secondary education is available throughout the North Queensland region.
James Cook University
James Cook University (JCU) is Australia’s leading tropical research university and Queensland’s second oldest university. Offering excellence in teaching and research, JCU’s main campus is based in Townsville with additional campuses in Cairns, Brisbane and at JCUS in Singapore.
Over 18,000 students including 5,000 internationals from over 100 nationalities currently study at JCU. JCU’s activities have a strong focus in regional Queensland but its impact and reach are international, as recognised in the respected 2010 Shanghai Jiao Tong University ranking system which has placed JCU in the top 400 Universities in the world.
Barrier Reef Institute of TAFE
Barrier Reef Institute of TAFE provides vocational education and training to more than 14,700 local, interstate and international students annually. Students are enrolled in over 200 training programs ranging from Certificate through to Advanced Diploma level. The Institute also delivers training to more than 2,000 apprentices and trainees annually in traditional trade areas.
Tec-NQ is an independent Registered Training Organisation (RTO) and non-state senior secondary school in Townsville that offers full time and school-based apprenticeship training. Tec-NQ works closely with local industry to fill the skills gap for Certificate III qualified tradespeople in the North Queensland region. The technical school offers apprenticeships in construction, automotive, engineering and electro technology.
Up to 300 students are accepted into the school-based program each year, with the number of positions linked closely to local industry demand.
A year-round hotspot for outdoor activities, North Queensland offers the kind of relaxed atmosphere that has made the region a vibrant tourist destination.
North Queensland is the scenic gateway to the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef and arguably one of the state’s best-kept secrets, Magnetic Island. With over 300 days of sunshine each year everyone enjoys the outdoors and laid back lifestyle.
Combining a tropical lifestyle with the cultural activities of a thriving region, North Queensland offers the best of both worlds.
Townsville is the largest city in the region and has much to offer its residents. There are three major suburban shopping centres, all expanding at a great pace. The iconic Stockland Shopping Centre will include a Myer store as part of its $180 million development. The historic Flinders Mall has recently undergone a major $54 million redevelopment that has injected new life into the growing inner city precinct. The dining district of Palmer Street continues to reinvent itself to suit all tastes and budgets of a growing community.
The cities beachfront has been compared to some of the best in the world. The Strand is a 2.2km long beachfront promenade that has been custom built for enjoyment. The Strand attracts thousands of visitors and locals each week to its palm tree studded stretch.
Magnetic Island is located just 8 kilometres off Townsville, and just a 20 minute ferry ride. Offering a relaxed tropical lifestyle, quiet secluded beaches, natural unspoilt beauty, abundant wildlife and easy access to the Great Barrier Reef, it is a picturesque and unique part of the world not to be missed.
The wider North Queensland region is also home to world class attractions and facilities.
Charters Towers is a scenic city full of history and character with the authentic spirit of country at its heart. History is brought to life as you explore the history of a city that was once Queensland’s largest outside of Brisbane.
The Burdekin region is awash with beautiful mango and sugar cane plantations set amongst the two bustling townships of Ayr and Home Hill which lie just 12 km apart, linked by the iconic Burdekin River Bridge. The Burdekin River is the fourth largest by volume in Australia. Apart from the Murray River, the Burdekin River is economically the most important in Australia and is popular with the local community for recreational water sports.
Hinchinbrook completes the region’s attractions and lies nestled in some of the most scenic and diverse ecologies on the planet. Wallaman Falls is the largest single drop waterfall in Australia, tumbling 305 metres to a crystal clear fresh-water pool. Tyto is a 120 hectare wetland site that integrates lagoons, walking tracks and lookouts into the natural environment to provide a unique wildlife experience.
Australia’s largest island National Park, Hinchinbrook Island, lies just off the mainland and is home to pristine rainforests and secluded beaches. The North Queensland region’s diverse attractions are complimented by community infrastructure and facilities. All of the region’s cities boast hospitals, specialised health care services and top quality educational facilities. These services continue to grow and expand to meet the demands of a growing and diverse population.
No other region punches above its weight like North Queensland when it comes to hosting major sporting, cultural and music events and festivals.
Townsville has three national sporting teams, including the long-standing North Queensland Cowboys (NRL) and is the latest city to host the international V8 Supercars circuit.
Cultural events such as the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Groovin the Moo, the Ingham Australian-Italian Festival and Tastes of the Burdekin ensure North Queensland remains in the national and international spotlight.
- Continual Growth in construction with $7 Billion worth of projects underway or awaiting start
- Booming Population Growth is transforming the city from a regional centre to a vibrant metropolitan city with 100,000 new residents predicted over the next two decades
- The largest government sector in Queensland and outside of Brisbane with 17,000 employees working in local, state and federal agencies
- The home of 3 national sporting teams and newest host city for the national V8 supercar circuit
- Affordable and quality housing complemented by a vibrant lifestyle
- Warm and welcoming weather with more than 300 days of sunshine each year
- Economic growth balanced with a focus on family and lifestyle
- Grazing, mining and agriculture are the key markets in the Charters Towers Region
- Well established cultural, health, educational and recreational facilities
- One of the largest and most productive sugarcane producing areas in the country
- Abundant year-round water supplies make the region one of Australia’s premier agricultural areas
- Developed infrastructure including Airport, Road and Rail Networks
- Industry in Townsville and surrounding areas include :
- Heavy Industry- mining and minerals
- Renewable Energy