YEAR AHEAD: Ipswich Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Phillip Bell is optimistic about business opportunities in the city in 2018.
IT’S going to be a ‘defining year’ for business in Ipswich.
Boutique restaurants and cafes, speciality shops and niche market-based businesses are already cashing in on the CBD facelift but outside the city centre, investors are spying potential in growing markets.
Confidence in the building and construction sector, a $150m cash splash on the Ipswich Mall and healthy competition in food, entertainment and hospitality businesses is sparking a bright 12 months for the city.
Ipswich Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Phillip Bell said he was looking forward to seeing the Ipswich business sector blossom in 2018.
“The city heart precinct is going to feature very strongly but having said that a lot of business will take a little time to settle and build their profile and clientele,” Mr Bell said.
“I think all businesses would accept that takes time. Momentum will continue to build in 2018.
“In particular hospitality and retail types businesses are finding improved opportunities for business in the Ipswich CBD.”
He said the focus on the CBD redevelopment played a significant role in encouraging business confidence.
“I observed local business struggle a few years back but what we are seeing now, particularly with the confidence the council is showing with the $150 million in the CBD, is that people are being drawn back,” Mr Bell said.
“There will always be a strong market for business competing outside the CBD but with the types of entertainment, retail and hospitality type precincts that are being created, the opportunity for small business in retail and hospitality is just going to continue to grow. 2018 is going to be a defining year for business in Ipswich.”
Mr Bell said while many businesses were making the most of the opportunities to strengthen within the city, others were facing challenges not exclusive to Ipswich.
“There are a lot of small businesses that truly operate on the margin. We need to be cautious because we have enjoyed a relatively low cost of debt so small business, in particular, will have to watch their balance sheet in the next 12 to 24 months,” he said. “If we see an asset squeeze and interest rates starting to shift upwards, there is some cause for concern for those in the margin.”
Local business heading overseas
SMALL businesses which have already secured their hold on the Ipswich market are increasingly looking to overseas consumers to sell their goods.
Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell predicts 2018 will be a year of strong growth for small business exporters.
Ms Carnell said Australia’s International Business Survey 2017 showed greater confidence among businesses that were already exporting.
In agriculture and wholesaling, two thirds of businesses believe the outlook is better than the previous two years.
China, the United States and United Kingdom have been identified as markets where revenue growth is likely to be strong.
“Australia is seeing increased growth in exports and small businesses are leading the way,” Ms Carnell said.
“Nearly 88 per cent of Australian exporters are small-medium enterprises.
“An increasing number of firms are ‘born global’, which means they’re exporting at the very beginning.”
Ms Carnell said the survey findings matched Efic’s exporter sentiment index from August, which showed two thirds of respondents expected future sales revenue to increase
Originally Published: www.qt.com.au
SEQ begins big push for a billion-dollar City Deal
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (left) and Treasurer Jackie Trad are pushing for a City Deal for south-east Queensland.
Photo: AAP/Dan Peled
Political delays dogging infrastructure projects will be history if talks on Tuesday morning cement a new billion-dollar 15-year City Deal for south-east Queensland between all three levels of government.
Such a deal could benefit 3 million people catching trains and buses, driving on highways, building businesses, looking for housing, and finding school and universities between the Sunshine and Gold coasts and west to Toowoomba.
Deputy premier Jackie Trad and Brisbane’s lord mayor Graham Quirk will on Tuesday morning outline how close the 10 south-east Queensland councils – Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, Moreton Bay, Redland, Scenic Rim, Somerset, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba and Lockyer Valley – are to signing Australia’s largest City Deal with the federal government.
Australia now has three City Deals backed by the federal government: Townsville (2016), Launceston (April 2017) and Western Sydney (March 2018).
Cr Quirk, the chairman of Council of Mayors (SEQ) that represents the region’s local governments, described a City Deal for the area as “a dramatic change”.
“The power of aligning the efforts of all levels of government and securing a long-term program of investment in our region will be a game changer,” Cr Quirk said.
“For the first time, all levels of government will be working in unison to protect and enhance the prosperity and liveability of south-east Queensland.”
Brisbane’s lord mayor Graham Quirk begins a campaign for a City Deal funding package for 10 councils on Tuesday morning.
Photo: Fairfax Media
A City Deal binds the three levels of government — federal, state and local — as a group to agree to a 15-year rolling funding program of infrastructure projects that a fast-growing region needs.
As projects provide a lift in land value, that financial uplift is identified, captured and then re-invested into the infrastructure funding pool, under a model first identified in Manchester in 2012 and then in Brisbane in 2014.
In April 2018, Cr Quirk and Ms Trad met the federal government’s new Cities and Urban Infrastructure minister Paul Fletcher, when they first put forward the SEQ City Deal.
All parties described those 2018 talks as “positive”.
Cr Quirk and Ms Trad will begin the public push for the SEQ City Deal at a business breakfast at Brisbane’s Convention and Exhibition Centre on Tuesday.
“We secured Australia’s first ever City Deal in Townsville, which is paying dividends with projects like the North Queensland Stadium, delivered through the City Deal,” Ms Trad said.
“That is under construction and on track to be open for the start of the 2020 NRL season.”
Townsville’s City Deal is a 15-year arrangement, while Launceston’s is a five-year deal and Western Sydney’s is a 20-year deal.
The federal government is tipped to announce City Deals for Geelong and Darwin by September 2018, allowing planners to work on Hobart, Perth and south-east Queensland over 18 months.
How could it help?
It locks in project funds over 15 to 20 years, moving them away from political promises, which are subject to election outcomes. It could remove election squabbling over the same project.
It sets out a timetable for projects allowing the private sector to invest more confidently.
It could help the next generation of infrastructure projects, after the Pacific Motorway, Cross River Rail and Brisbane Metro projects were all delayed by politics, angering voters.
It has also been mentioned as a way of funding Moreton Bay’s new university campus at Petrie and breathing life into the Brisbane River’s Resilient Rivers proposal.
What is Townsville’s experience after 18 months?
The Townsville City Deal was signed on December 9, 2016. It is a 15-year agreement.
Work has begun on stage two of the 25,000-seat $250 million North Queensland Stadium. It will be finished for the 2020 rugby league season. It is funded by the federal and state governments, and Townsville City Council.
The Queensland government has promised $250 million for new water supply for Townsville.
A business case for new Townsville Port facilities is almost finished and the Queensland government has pledged $75 million for port upgrade.
Townville mayor Jenny Hill said choosing the right projects was essential to make a City Deal effective.
“The City Deal provides a roadmap for delivery that breaks the political cycle so it is very important to choose the right projects or areas for reform that will make the biggest difference to a city or region,” Cr Hill said.
“All three levels of government also need to buy into the key priorities of the local area that are included in any City Deal.”
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill on top of Castle Hill with Townsville in the background.
SEQ City Deal – the background
- May 2012: Co-funding model idea began in United Kingdom.
- June 2015: Queensland prepares its own case for City Deals after Ms Trad looked at the UK City Deals idea in Manchester.
- 2016: Council of Mayors (SEQ), Queensland Property Council and the Queensland government put a plan together.
- November 2016: Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk signed a memorandum of understanding with prime minister Malcolm Turnbull in November 2016 to develop “tailored City Deals” for Queensland.
- February 2017: Ms Trad and Cr Quirk wrote to then-federal cities minister Angus Taylor, agreeing to a joint submission.
- Late 2017: A Cities Transformation TaskForce established in Brisbane.
- June 2018: Queensland’s major contractors called for a City Deal.
Interstate migrants are moving to QLD … but they’re not coming to Brisbane
Less than 5 per cent of interstate migrants during the 2016-2017 financial year settled in Brisbane, according to data from the ABS. Photo: Glenn Hunt
Interstate migration to Queensland is booming but analysis shows most new residents are bypassing Brisbane for other regions in the Sunshine State.
Buyers’ agency Propertyology analysed ABS data, which showed there were 17,246 internal migrations to Queensland in 2016-17. But out of those, only 846 relocated to Brisbane, which equates to less than 5 per cent.
Propertyology managing director Simon Pressley said the lion’s share went to the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay, Cairns, Ipswich and the Scenic Rim.
“We’ve read a lot about interstate migration to Queensland lately and it’s been growing each year, which is great,” he said.
“The thing is, people automatically think Queensland means Brisbane but when you actually look closely at the numbers, they tell a very different story.”
As a proportion of total population growth over 2016-17, the biggest beneficiaries of interstate migration were Tasmania (22.5 per cent) and Queensland (21.9 per cent).
House prices in the regions with the most internal migrations have mainly increased — house prices on the Sunshine and Gold Coasts have increased by 7.9 per cent and 3.3 per cent respectively over the past 12 months — although Mr Pressley said the correlation between population growth and house price growth was often overstated.
“I know logically it makes sense — if an area has a big surge in population, house prices should go up — but there’s much more to it than that,” he said.
“Jobs growth is a lot more important than population growth, so is wage growth, [and] affordability is also extremely important.”
REIQ Gold Coast zone chair Andrew Henderson said each of those factors was connected and all had contributed to the Gold Coast’s house price success in recent years.
“Our local economy is strong but it’s also changed. We’re no longer solely reliant on the tourism industry. The diversity of our job offering has changed,” he said.
“With new infrastructure like universities and hospitals, we’ve got people moving here from interstate into jobs who would have never been able to move here 10, 20 years ago.
“So the age of the people we’ve got moving here has also changed. We’ve always had a lot of retirees but we’ve noticed a surge in people in their 20s, 30s and 40s – people moving their whole families up here. Around Mermaid Waters and Clear Island Waters there’s a really strong southern presence.”
Andrew Campbell of Ray White Redcliffe said the influx of interstate migrants buying up locally in the Moreton Bay region had become apparent more recently.
“We noticed a dip in the interstaters for a while but recently they’ve started to come back and it’s about affordability. All the properties around that median price are really moving so quickly,” he said.
Domain Group figures show the median house price in Moreton Bay is $456,000.
“There’s a lot of first-home buyers who fly up here for the weekend from Sydney. They know they can’t afford to buy there so they’re moving here because they see you can buy a house for under $500,000, get the lifestyle and still only have to drive 40 minutes to work in Brisbane,” Mr Campbell said.
But Mr Pressley said interstate migrants were being “pushed” to Queensland, rather “pulled” as they were during the mining boom.
“People have always wanted to come to Queensland because of the good lifestyle, weather and affordable housing,” he said.
“In the past they came for those things but also because we created more jobs year after year than everyone else. Now, we’re not dragging here through job growth, they’re coming here by default.
“To me, that’s why interstate migration hasn’t translated into property prices yet … and that’s why only minimal people have gone to Brisbane.
“I anticipate that in the next 12 months we’re going to see another really strong year of interstate migration into Queensland; if our economy improves, then it could translate to property prices for Brisbane and all over Queensland. Overall though, this is a good news story for Queensland and Brisbane as well. It’s looking positive.”
$10,000 to boost international students numbers in Ipswich
A RED carpet will be rolled out for international students in a bid to entice youngsters to Ipswich.
The city has been successful in securing a $10,000 grant to better market the city on the international education stage.
International education is already the second biggest export for Queensland, worth about $4.37 billion to the state’s economy.
Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard said more people were visiting Ipswich than ever before.
“We also have some of the best education institutions in the country – it makes sense,” Ms Howard said.
“That’s why we’re investing in international education in Ipswich. We’re making sure Ipswich Regional Education Consortium has the funding it needs to grow our international education sector in years to come.”
Last year, a working group led by Ipswich City Council considered ways to continue driving growth in the international education sector.
The project was funded through the International Education and Training Partnership Fund which aims to encourage the sector to collaborate and work on innovative projects that position Queensland as a world class destination for international students.
Federal data for 2017 showed Ipswich’s international education market grew by 39.2 per cent with most of Ipswich’s international student enrolments coming from China and India.
University of Southern Queensland student Samikshya Paudel moved to Australia from Nepal in February 2017.
She’s in her second year of studying a bachelor of nursing at USQ Ipswich.
Samikshya said Australia offered a safe environment to study where people at her campus were friendly and the staff supportive.
“I chose to study nursing because it’s a good profession that you can learn every skill from communication to leadership,” Samikshya said, in June when new figures on international students were released.
“After university my plan is to return to my home country and apply the skills I have learnt at USQ to help people in my country.”
Today, Tourism Industry Development Minister and Ministerial Champion for International Education Kate Jones said the $10,000 in funding for Ipswich Regional Education Consortium was part of a wider Study Queensland campaign.
Ms Jones said Study Queensland’s ‘Start here. Go anywhere’ campaign was devised after months of market research to discover what motivates students to choose Queensland above other states.
“More students from across the globe are choosing to travel to Queensland every year and our international education industry has grown by around 12 per cent in the last year.
“But we know we can do more to support the student experience and ensure sustained growth in the future. This campaign is all about capitalising on our great foundation to increase our share of the international education market.
“International education currently supports around 19,000 jobs across the state. With this new campaign, we hope to grow this industry to support an extra 6800 jobs by 2026.
“That’s why we’re investing more than $25 million in this space to grow our international education sector.”