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Tourism and education, new growth areas for Townsville

  • Michael McMillan (L) and Patricia O'Callaghan of Townsville Enterprise. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily
  • Townsville will focus on tourism-related services that capitalize on North Queensland's geographical uniqueness.
  • The Greater Townsville Region with its rich mining resources.

SINGAPORE (Sin Chew Daily) -- Located on the Coral Sea coast in northern Queensland, Townsville is opening its doors wide and setting its sights on the world.

Covering a land area of 696.2 square kilometers, Townsville is not only the administrative, economic and commercial hub of the northern part of Australia, it is also the gateway to the vast mining and agricultural hinterland of the state of Queensland.

During an interview with Sin Chew Daily, Townsville Enterprise Chief Executive Officer Patricia O'Callaghan said the city of Townsville was in the midst of a rapid economic transformation, focusing not only mining and agriculture but also the new growth sectors of tourism and education.

She said Townsville would introduce more exciting new attractions for tourists in the future, including an underwater art museum, while launching several major projects in its central business district (CBD) to expedite the city's economic transformation.

Emphasis on mining and agriculture

Besides exploring the new growth areas of tourism and education, O'Callaghan said Townsville would continue to fortify its conventional economic pillars, in particular the mining and agricultural industries, with the local government introducing new initiatives to enhance the development in these two sectors.

Statistics show that the Greater Townsville Region boasts the world's richest coal deposits, natural gas and base metals while the peripheral areas abounding in mining-related downstream industries.

The world's second largest quarrying center, Townsville has 28% of the world's zinc deposits and is one of the largest iron ore and phosphate producers in the world.

As for agriculture, Townsville is a major producer and trading center for beef as well as mango, banana and other tropical fruits. It has large meat processing and sugar manufacturing facilities, and is a principal port for meat exports.

Excellent infrastructure

Townsville Enterprise Director of Policy & Investment Michael McMillan told Sin Chew Daily education and tourism had emerged as two major growth engines for the city.

He said Townsville would focus on tourism-related services that capitalize on North Queensland's geographical uniqueness in winning over the hearts of tourists from Asia and beyond.

While developing the local tourist industry, Townsville will continue to cherish its unique cultural legacy and environment. Townsville Enterprise hopes to maintain a close relationship with investors, helping them implement their projects here.

McMillan emphasized that Townsville Enterprise would convey the message to local residents that investors, in particular foreign investors, are more inclined towards long-term development instead of short-term profits.

He said Townsville wished to foster closer trade relations with Southeast Asian countries with agriculture, education, urban development, professional services, etc. among key areas of cooperation.

Townsville has always adopted a very liberal attitude in its investment policy and hopes investors will reap lucrative financial returns from their input.

Townsville will be completely transformed and will greet the world with a brand new face as various development projects fall into place in near future.

Rich tourism and educational resources

As the healthcare, education, agriculture and defense hub of North Queensland, Townsville boasts a well developed infrastructure, including an airport and seaport, and is very investor-friendly.

The city is one of the major embarkation ports for the Great Barrier Reef, and is known for its fabulous beaches, idyllic islands, jungle walks, bird and koala sanctuaries, along with a large casino complex.

Magnetic Island, with its pristine bays and beaches and large numbers of koalas and other Australian wildlife, is perhaps the best known among the attractions

Townsville, the event capital of North Queensland, offers year-round activities for locals and visitors alike, including land and water sports as well as a rich history and culture.

World-class facilities

Townsville is North Queensland's educational and scientific research center and home to Australia's coral studies, giant turtle rehabilitation and marine education researches. The city is known for its world-class educational, training and research facilities, including James Cook University.

Named after the 18th century English explorer, James Cook University was established in 1961 and is globally renowned for its environmental science, earth sciences, marine biology, national resources management and tropical biology, among others.

Besides Townsville, the university also has campuses in Cairns, Queensland and Singapore.


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