The construction of a technology and business park, national-level sporting facilities, light industrial precinct and 1500 homes will add billions to the Queanbeyan and Canberra economies, and provide much-needed jobs in the region over the next 10 years, according to Village Building Company CEO Travis Doherty.
He said building the new community at South Jerrabomberra will create jobs in construction and trades, and then ultimately in the sport, business, education, technology, services and retail sectors once completed.
The opening of a new road, Environa Drive, connecting South Jerrabomberra with Tompsitt Drive, will mark a major milestone in the creation of the new suburb, establishing access to begin building homes, sporting facilities, STEM-based high school and commercial buildings.
Environa Drive is being delivered by Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (QPRC) with a $23 million grant from the NSW Government and up to $8 million from Council’s Water and Sewer funds.
“Our first land release is sold out,” said Mr Doherty, “and we’re undertaking major earthworks to install sewerage, water, electricity and services to these blocks. We’re working to have these ready so buyers can settle on their land and start building their homes in mid-2021.
“Our next major release consists of single residential land, house and land packages and builder packs, and we’re already well progressed on the bulk earthworks for these blocks. The demand for land at South Jerra is high and we’re pushing forward to deliver more blocks to meet that demand.
“The opening of Environa Drive next year will help do that, but it will also help the construction of the business and technology park, and the sports facilities,” he said.
The business precinct will be a centre of excellence for high-performing enterprises, from the defence, space, cyber-security and high-tech manufacturing sectors. The precinct – known as Poplars Innovation Precinct – will also be home to the region’s first STEM-based high school.
Riverview Group Managing Director David Maxwell said small regions like ours must diversify their economies and become part of the knowledge economy which the Canberra region is known for, and the Poplars Innovation Precinct will contribute to that goal.
“With the national capital on our doorstep and the partnership we share with QPRC and NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, this is one of the most exciting regional precincts in the country,” said Mr Maxwell.
The establishment of a business precinct, said Mr Doherty, could add billions to the local economy.
“If you look at what Brindabella Park has generated per year over the last few years, it’s around $2.42 billion. The new business facilities at South Jerrabomberra could generate a similar amount once fully established,” said Mr Doherty.
QPRC said the economic development and jobs the precinct will bring to the region were scoped in the initial viability studies for land use.
The South Jerrabomberra urban release area will feature 1,500 households and be home to around 4,000 residents. Around 1,200 jobs will be created in the business and light industrial areas, although the available figures do not take into account the thousands of jobs created by the construction of infrastructure, homes and businesses in the new suburb.