Getting our mojo back

Written by: Marie-Claude Brown | CEO Townsville Chamber | April 1, 2020

Last month, I toured the Queensland Country Bank Stadium with a group of James Cook University business students. Our new Stadium is a standout. Smaller, but just as impressive as any capital city equivalent. It was also wonderful to see our CBD from a different angle, from the other side of Ross River. Tall buildings, wide streets, water views, and the hill in the background – it looked all grown up. It’s not Little Ol’ Townsville anymore. 

In a way, the Stadium is a demonstration of how far we’ve come over the last 10 years, when civic leaders first started advocating for it. 

Yes, it is a brand-shiny-new piece of infrastructure, but it is also something to be proud of, like we are proud of The Strand, of Magnetic Island’s beauty, and of our unique sense of community. It adds to the definition of who we are. 

While on the fourth level with the students, seven construction cranes were counted in the skyline. Seven! Our highest Crane Index in years! The Crane Index is a made-up guide indicating the health of a local economy. The more cranes, the more money is invested, the more people are employed, the better the economy. It is not a valid indicator, of course, but this crane index coincides with how many in business feel today.

Townsville’s businesses are getting their mojo back. The world of commerce is moving again, and local businesses feel more at ease with the economic conditions. Valid indexes, like the PVW Townsville Business Confidence Index, confirm this. Even the CCIQ Pulse Survey of Business Conditions which, in March, described the rather bleak views of Queensland businesses regarding the economy, reported that Townsville business experienced improvements in several performance indicators. The report can be found in the News section of our website. 

Trading conditions remain challenging, but the good news is that local businesses have adapted. The momentum is building, and it is set on a foundation of public and private investments. You won’t hear much about private investors in the media, as most prefer confidentiality. But they are here, and million-dollar transactions are taking place. 

It is important to note that some of those transactions will not be reported in certain data sets as they are below the $10M project data collection benchmark. The Chamber is advocating to lower the reporting benchmark for regional Queensland in order to better reflect investments in smaller economies. 

To see the Chamber’s advocacy priorities for 2020, visit our website, www.townsvillechamber.com.au

*The article was submitted before Townsville felt the impact of the Coronavirus.

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