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Townsville State Development Area

Declared in 2003, the 4915-hectare Townsville State Development Area (SDA) is a defined area of land dedicated for industrial development. It is located about six kilometres south-east of the Townsville CBD and two kilometres south of the Port of Townsville.

Situated at the junction of the national road network (Bruce and Flinders Highways), with direct connections to major rail networks and the Port of Townsville, the Townsville SDA is positioned to be the preferred location in North Queensland for the establishment of industrial development of regional, state and National significance.

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Benefits of the Townsville SDA

The Townsville SDA provides benefits to business and industry looking to invest in Queensland including:

  • locational advantages including access to:
    • the Port of Townsville, Queensland's third largest port, handling more than 7.6 million tonnes during the 2018-19 financial year, with over 30 different commodity types imported and exported including copper, zinc, lead, sugar and fertiliser
    • rail routes running north, south and west with key connections to the North Coast Rail Corridor and North West Rail Corridor
    • the national road network, which provide access north to Cairns, south to Mackay and Brisbane and west to Charters Towers and Mount Isa
  • efficient use of land, including:
    • a dedicated transportation corridor, providing direct road access to the Port via the Townsville Port Access Road
    • the future potential to divert rail freight access to the Port through the Townsville Eastern Access Rail Corridor and to provide a services and materials transportation corridor to avoid the Townsville CBD and residential suburbs
  • opportunity for large-scale heavy industry to co-locate with existing industries, with existing industrial enterprises and large areas of greenfield land available for development
  • a large workforce and major support services within the city of Townsville
  • streamlined assessment processes for applications and requests
  • regulation of material change of use, reconfiguring a lot, and operational work for native vegetation clearing to improve development coordination and reduce the regulatory burden on proponents
  • best practice land-use planning and management - ensuring land and infrastructure assets are, and remain, attractive to existing occupants and potential investors.

Existing industrial development in the Townsville SDA

The Townsville SDA is positioned to meet the needs of large-scale projects as evidenced by the major industries that are established within the SDA. The Townsville SDA is currently home to:

  • Aurizon Stuart intermodal facility
  • Aurizon locomotive and rolling stock maintenance facility
  • Glencore Xstrata copper refinery
  • JBS Australia abattoir
  • Origin Energy Mt Stuart peaking generator plant
  • Pacific National rail freight terminal
  • Sun Metals Zinc refinery
  • Townsville City Council landfill
  • Townsville correctional facility.

Sun Metals – a case study

Sun Metals Corporation (Sun Metals) own and operate the SMC Townsville Zinc Refinery at Stuart, in the Townsville SDA. The refinery, which has been in operation since 1999, produces special high-grade zinc metals and other products including sulfuric acid, zinc ferrite and gypsum.

“Operationally, Sun Metal benefits from good road infrastructure within the Townsville SDA, allowing easy access to the Bruce highway and port access roads, coupled with close proximity to the port, to facilitate our global import and exporting activities” Kathy Danaher, Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer, Sun Metals Corporation Pty Ltd.

In July 2018, Sun Metals made an SDA application to the Coordinator-General to upgrade and expand the existing refinery to introduce a new zinc leaching process. The new process would allow Sun Metals to increase zinc recovery by 10% resulting in a net extraction increase of 75,000 tonnes per annum. The expansion will increase total production capacity of the facility to 300,000 tonnes per annum and represents a $360 million investment.

“Sun Metals benefitted from the active involvement of the Office of the Coordinator-General in facilitating timely consultation and negotiation with stakeholders, at all stages of the approvals process” Ken Dunlop, Environmental Superintendent, Sun Metals Corporation Pty Ltd.

Sun Metals’ SDA application was approved by the Coordinator-General in November 2018 and is currently in the construction phase.

In July 2020, it was announced that Sun Metals was the recipient of $5 million in funding through the Queensland Government’s $19 million Hydrogen Industry Development Strategy 2019-2024. The grant will support the establishment of a renewable hydrogen plant with a focus on diesel displacement for Sun Metals’ fleet of heavy vehicles.

New industrial opportunities in the Townsville SDA

New industries considered suitable for the Townsville SDA include a diverse range of port, rail, and road dependent industries such as:

  • manufacturing (chemicals and metals production)
  • minerals processing
  • intermodal freight and logistics
  • bulk storage.

Cleveland Bay Industrial Park

The Cleveland Bay Industrial Park (CBIP) master-planned industrial estate, will provide 90 hectares of fully serviced freehold industrial lots for development.

Suitable industrial uses will include medium-impact industry such as fright terminals, transport depots, research and technology industries, warehouses and infrastructure facilities and the location will allow for 24/7 operations.

The CBIP has direct access to the Townsville Port Access Road to connect to the Port of Townsville, nearby connections to the Bruce and Flinders Highways and planned infrastructure includes a signalised intersection to cater for Type 2 road train access to all sites.

Construction of the Cleveland Bay Industrial Park is expected to commence in late 2020 with sites ready for industrial development as early as 2021.

Further information

For further information on the Townsville SDA, contact the SDA Division on 1800 001 048 or via sdainfo@coordinatorgeneral.qld.gov.au

Last updated: Wednesday, Nov 11, 2020