Back on February 8 Strewth asked if the development bubble had burst here in Hervey Bay, something that the Gossip has been wondering about for some months now. Several times we’ve mentioned that there has been a slowdown for small business here in town and pointed to the slow take up of some commercial developments as a sign that things are not going as well for Hervey Bay as it might otherwise appear.
It’s been known for a while that the last whale watching season was not as good for operators as previous seasons have been. Then we had the wet weather over Christmas that really hurt a number of the tourism related businesses here in town. Poor tourist seasons have a flow-on effect for the rest of the town and if thathose poor seasons weren’t bad enough other factors have also had an impact here.
The upwards creep in interest rates, the cessation of work on the Centro expansions and the collapse of a major building contractor hasn’t helped the situation either so we seem to be in for some interesting times in the months ahead and perhaps we really will see a slowdown in development here in Hervey Bay.
So let’s take a look at some of the affected areas around Hervey Bay.
The resort site in Freshwater Street Hervey Bay that has seen no work since the fencing went up just after Christmas.
One of two construction sites between the Esplanade and Watson Street Pialba. This site seems to have some work going on while work on the other may have stopped.
Courses at the University of Southern Queensland here in Hervey Bay may have been slashed but construction work on the extensions is still proceeding. There were workers on site when this photo was taken last Saturday.
A commercial development in Luizzi Street Hervey Bay that was completed in October. Of the nine units available in the development only three are occupied. Construction of a proposed new development across the road has not yet begun.
These units in Central Avenue Hervey Bay were completed late last year … all of them remain unoccupied.
And out at the industrial estate at the airport things aren’t much different. There’s a lot of empty land, a few commercial complexes going up, one or two that have been occupied and others like this one.
It certainly seems that development has slowed here in Hervey Bay and you would have to wonder if other developments along the Esplanade will now proceed.
Is the redevelopment of the corner of Fraser Street and the Esplanade still to go ahead? A few of the affected shops are empty but nothing more appears to be happening.
Unfortunately this is a town that depends on development so things may not be too bright for Hervey Bay in the short term. And that ‘term’ may be longer than many might hope for because we’re now about to become part of a much larger regional council area and the needs of this area will have to be balanced with the needs of the other areas that are to be amalgamated with Hervey Bay.
edited to remove a dead link