1. A DECADE of development will potentially provide thousands of jobs and forever change the Keppel electorate.

    Some coastal projects have already started, more will soon begin, and all are expected to charge the Central Queensland economy.

    Capricorn Enterprise CEO Mary Carroll said $4.6 billion would go into long term projects in coming years.

    “When governments talk about jobs and growth, there are projects like water and road construction which provide more of an immediate impact during construction to the local economy than ongoing,” she said.

    “[But] there are some key projects which will continue to deliver economic benefits and employment well past the construction phase.”

    Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga said “local contractors and trades and suppliers all working on projects to build them creates those jobs in the short term, but in the long-term it’s about building that community infrastructure that attracts tourists or attracts new businesses to town and also gives things to our local community for our kids to do and our people to visit”.

    Take a look at five major projects set to change Livingstone.

    1. Homemaker Centre

    The $35 million Capricorn Coast Homemaker Centre by developer Gibb Group is the first of its kind in Livingstone Shire Council.

    The first stage of construction started earlier this year and will contain multiple retailers, including a 8,900 sqm Bunnings, a petrol station with four bowsers, a Hungry Jacks with drive-through and 42 indoors seats, and a Gus’ Coffee.

    The Bunnings is estimated to support up to 100 construction jobs and employ 60 people once complete by May 2021.

    The whole Homemaker Centre is meant to be ready by the end of next year.

    Livingstone Shire Mayor Andy Ireland said approaches had been made to the council about stage two of the development.

    He said despite plans not yet having been locked in, they were now being considered.

    “It’s great to see the Homemaker Centre well underway thanks to the Gibb Group’s further investment into our region, with the new Bunnings due to open in April 2021,” Ms Carroll said.

    “This development alone will create more than 100 new jobs for the coast.”

    Livingstone Shire Council Mayor Andy Ireland, Gibb Group’s Angus Holloway, Bunnings Yeppoon Kath Dingley, De Luca Corporation’s Jeremy McKenzie, Bunnings’ Michael Heggie, Capricorn Enterprise’s Mary Carroll, Livingstone Shire councillors Tayna Lynch, Adam Belot an

    2. Shoalwater Bay (ASMTI)

    The Australia Singapore Military Training Initiative at Shoalwater Bay, currently being expanded, is expected to eventually help train 14,000 Singaporean soldiers.

    The objectives of the program, according to the Australian Department of Defence, are to “deliver ADF requirements”, “strengthen partnerships with Singapore”, “enhance and develop training areas”, “engage local communities”, and “develop local industry”.

    The program has given contracts to Central Queensland companies in the past and is on the lookout for more local contribution.

    Cr Ireland said the initiative would result in $800 million being spent in Central Queensland.

    “The ASMTI project managers have used local contractors wherever possible, which has created and will continue to create, significant opportunities for locals,” he said.

    3. Yeppoon Railway Precinct

    The redevelopment of Yeppoon’s heritage railway precinct by Silverstone Developments and Livingstone Shire Council continues.

    Renovation works include the replacement of footings, repairs to the railway platform columns and the retaining wall, replacement of the roof, termite protection, and exterior painting.

    Cr Ireland said beyond that the council was likely to acquire the Yeppoon Railway Precinct, the use of which would be the subject of community consultation.

    “However, council has developed a concept plan for the site that proposes the creation of a Food Hub that showcases local produce, local growers, provides an opportunity for specialist food retailers, markets, open space, coach and vehicle parking, and training facilities.

    “If supported through community engagement, the project would need to be fully funded through Federal and State Government grants.”

    Ms Carroll said developing the station quarter into an ‘Innovation Food Hub’ would complement the multi-use property.

    All together, the precinct has the potential to be a one-of-the-kind attraction at the Capricorn Coast.

    4. Keppel Bay Convention Centre and Sporting Hub

    The Keppel Bay Sailing Club plans to increase tourism to the coast with its proposed Convention Centre and Sporting Hub, meant to maintain 298 jobs during construction and 272 permanent ones after its development.

    It even has the potential to be an Olympic training venue.

    “The Keppel Bay Convention Centre and Sporting Hub is part of an overall $63 million dollar development, with $20 million already secured in March this year for the convention centre,” Ms Carroll said.

    “This project will inject millions of dollars per annum to the Capricorn Coast and is key in attracting business travellers to the coast which receives predominantly leisure visitors.”

    5. Great Keppel Island

    Great Keppel Island, despite recent development difficulties, could attract sizeable investment and crowds of visitors to Central Queensland.

    “The development of GKI, whether in the form of the $1.5 billion resort development proposed or a variation thereof, has the potential to be a game-changer for the Livingstone Shire,” Cr Ireland said.

    “Like many others, council is waiting to see what outcome emerges from the negotiations between Altum (the developer) and the State Government.”

    Ms Carroll said the project needed “significant leadership” from the State Government in order for its benefits to be reaped.

    “The economic flow on effects of a new resort on Great Keppel Island is estimated to be $133 million per annum to the island alone once completed, in addition to the $4.4 billion contribution to the broader economy from construction with 1,490 workers per annum over 12 years of construction,” she said.

    Source: The Morning Bulletin, 04 November 2020