As Australia heads towards net zero emissions by 2050 the push towards green energy has advanced many renewable energy projects across the country. Regional Australia has already benefited from this increased demand resulting in strong gains in employment, population growth, and in turn residential rents and prices have seen upward momentum.
For commercial markets this sentiment is echoed, with a growing need for a mix of assets in regions which historically have little supply. An increased workforce grows vibrancy in communities around retail and community assets, growing businesses have taken up much commercial and industrial space as allied services also emerge, while the expansion of existing businesses continues. This increased demand has been instrumental in pressuring rents and values more recently and, as a result, the attractiveness of these locations has grown as investors look to secure quality long term tenanted assets.
While Queensland is set to become a powerhouse for renewable energy sources, towns such as Gladstone have already benefited from the uptick in these renewable energy projects, and will continue to thrive as they transition from fossil fuels to more green industries. Often known for its coal port and LNG export terminals, Gladstone is now rapidly moving towards long term sustainable, renewable resources to be the largest hydrogen producer in Australia, supported by the Federal Government’s National Hydrogen Strategy. Growing Gladstone into a “hydrogen hub” will further attract supporting businesses and manufacturing, enhancing demand for both industrial and commercial property. This will be the largest and most influential project for the region generating jobs, demand for property, and steadily improving long term prosperity rather than the boom-and-bust movements this region has felt in the past.
There are also a number renewable energy programs operating and underway in the region, including solar projects, providing power to the local community together with wind farms. Manufacturing, including alumina industrial plants, will earmark Gladstone as the leading aluminium producer in Australia further growing in attractiveness by utilising hydrogen power. Demand for these “greener” products are not limited to Australia, there is a high volume of production already exported across Asia and the Middle East which is expected to further increase.
Another coup for Gladstone is the recent announcement by the Queensland Government of a new $500million, world-class biorefinery. Adding to the biofuels capabilities of the region, the ability to produce fuel via waste and recycled products strengthens plans to create a sustainable, export-oriented industrial biotechnology sector for Queensland, fueling the economic future for the region and contributing to the decarbonisation targets. Strategically Gladstone and its deep water port facilities are well placed to see the long-term benefits of Australia’s commitment to renewable energy resources and our ability to export to a growing audience also committed to reducing their carbon footprint.
This investment into regional Australia will have long-term benefits for the community, creating a long term sustainable job market while being world leading in the quest for zero emissions over the next thirty years. This sort of commitment will ensure a move away from the boom-and-bust economies we have seen in the past and create more stability for both the residential and commercial property markets.