Olympics attract companies to growth corridor

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Large infrastructure projects across Australia’s east coast have created an explosion in companies expanding or moving their operations to South East Queensland, creating a development frenzy of its own.

On Queensland’s Gold Coast, in particular, the 3,300-hectare Yatala Enterprise Area north to the north of the city, the number of companies boosting their presence has risen rapidly, with a raft of new headquarters, manufacturing plants, warehouses, and office spaces rising in the industrial park.

With a burgeoning pipeline of major infrastructure works and the successful 2032 South East Queensland Olympic bid driving further development, businesses said they were moving to capture a slice of the fast-tracked action along the growth corridor.

Compaction equipment sale and hire company, Conplant, said the sustained growth opportunities had motivated the company to construct a new, purpose-built facility at Yatala.

Conplant national sales manager Guy Tome said the new facility aimed to meet the company’s growth and customer demand.

“We are a national company with our head office in Sydney, but the Gold Coast branch has grown to the largest in the group,” Tome said.

“Our biggest branch is the one located at Yatala. We are flat out with a lot more to come.”

Tome said the company that hires and sells earthmoving equipment, specialising in compaction equipment used in building roads and rail infrastructure and road maintenance, was projecting sustained growth supplying projects including the Coomera Connector, a new north-south road corridor between Loganholme and Nerang, and the new Inland Rail connecting Melbourne and Brisbane.

M1 upgrades underway across Queensland’s southeast corner, Gold Coast Light Rail, and other works in northern NSW also justified the new facility that meant the company could supply more equipment and projects, he said.

“There’s been a lot in the government planning that’s been fast-tracked.  Funding is coming in and projects are starting earlier, and we are just seeing that take off now,” Tome said.

“The good thing is it seems like it’s going to be more of sustained growth than boom and bust, so that’s a real positive for us. Having been through mining booms and busts, this is a purple patch.

“We’re certainly located in the perfect spot to try and capture as much of that work as we can. There’s a knock-on effect for everyone to benefit from this, it makes the whole industry busy.”

Tome said having been at Yatala for the past 15 years, the company had never seen such rapid growth with so many interstate companies from across the supply chain, largely from NSW and South Australia, moving to capitalise on the growth opportunities.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the boom in infrastructure supply companies migrating to the Gold Coast reflected the city’s efforts over the past 10 years to broaden its economy.

“We are renowned for tourism and construction, but we are now diversifying into a range of industry sectors, from film, screen, marine, transport logistics, health, medical research, and manufacturing,” Tate said.

“Broadening our economy means more jobs, more stability, and more opportunities for families.

“I expect Yatala to employ in excess of 20,000 people within the next five years.’’

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