Housing Supply Opportunities / Issues
At this juncture it is worth highlighting some of the emerging social trends in mining and the associated impact on communities and populations. A 2007 study by Rolfe et al points to the following:
“There is an increasing trend towards block shift work patterns and a non-resident workforce, coupled with increased mobility and more lifestyle drivers shifting or cycling people out of mining communities. These factors are causing population to concentrate in regional hubs and larger mining towns , where the services tend to be focused”
From a national perspective, these trends already impact net migration figures, with resource endowed states the beneficiaries of the two speed economy. Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory have and are expected to grow faster than the other states as illustrated in the following chart (below*).
With a significant amount of new activity expected in the Rockhampton region, a material number of skilled workers will be required to construct and operate the various projects and associates infrastructure. A selection of employee intensive works follows.
Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal (WICET) –
Located at Golding Point, Gladstone, this $4b industry funded terminal will increase export coal capacity through the port of Gladstone in the order of 80Mtpa to 90Mtpa. Stage 1 is expected to be completed in 2014*. Additional rail project will be required to support this new terminal.
Moura System Upgrade
Track capacity is currently 17Mtpa with a 2010 study identifying individual projects which bring additional capacity of up to 71Mtpa*. The two year program is expected to commence in 2011.
The magnitude of the LNG developments proposed for Queensland has resulted in Energy Skills Queensland preparing a number of documents which deal with the expected labour requirements to construct and operate the LNG plants. Should he five most advanced applications proceed, a workforce in the order of 14,800 to 18,300 may be required*.
At Appendix A, we have provided extracts from the ABARE list of major mineral and energy projects. This list details additional employment requirements (where available) and further supports the need to provide suitable accommodation in the region now and into the future.
Combining this regional migration with natural changes to population creates an expectation that Rockhampton Regional Council will have a population of approximately 153,200 by 2031**.
Workforce migration as a result of employment creation, coupled with underlying population growth, is expected to create significant underlying demand for new dwelling in the medium to long term.
Modeling undertaken by Queensland Government Office of Economics & Statistical Research, projects that the Rockhampton Regional Council will require constriction of 22,945 new dwelling during the period 2006 to 2031. For Gladstone the number is 21,093*. These projections are depicted graphically in the chart below. The robust demand identified is to be contrasted with housing supply laminations for the region which follow.