There is a lot for Townsville businesses to be optimistic about.
The city has established itself as a key hub for Northern Australia and is poised to expand across major industries like hydrogen production and tourism.
Mayor Jenny Hill says it wasn’t hard to remember how the city felt just a few years ago following the Queensland Nickel refinery closure, which created a gaping hole in local industry and left many families without income.
“The difference between now and then is stark. In the five years that have passed our city has rolled with the punches of the 2019 monsoon and the pandemic, all the while embracing a changing skyline,” she says.
“But the skyline hasn’t been the only thing changing – confidence in our city is skyrocketing.
“Our population is expected to pass 200,000 in the next 12 months and the city is also proud to boast an unemployment rate that is now lower than the state average, with the trades, healthcare and hospitality sectors at the top end of local growth.
“Council has signed an agreement to make the city a leader in hydrogen production and export in Australia. This is a strong step towards securing more green jobs for the region and providing another economic stimulus for North Queensland.”
Cr Hill says supporting local businesses was a priority for Council, with an organisational goal to reach 90 per cent procurement spend with local businesses in the next five years.
“Last financial year, Council’s total expenditure through procurement reached almost $270 million, and around 85 per cent of that was with local businesses,” she says.
“As a recent signee of the Small Business Friendly Council charter, Council is committed to continuing its support of local businesses, with a goal of reaching 90 per cent procurement spend with local businesses in the next five years.
“In order to achieve this goal, Council is making it easier for locals to do business with us with the launch of our new tendering system VendorPanel.
“VendorPanel will be the platform used by businesses to submit tenders and quotes for upcoming projects, respond to queries and provide updates to registered suppliers.
“It will make the tendering process even more streamlined and easy to access for our local businesses, ensuring we can reach our procurement targets and continue supporting the local economy.
“It also allows our registered suppliers access to tenders for neighbouring councils and upcoming State and Federal agency panels ensuring that they have the opportunity to secure work across the region.”
Cr Hill says Council was also running face-to-face sessions with local businesses to learn how to become a supplier for Council.
She says this was a valuable opportunity for businesses that wanted an insight into how to engage with Council’s procurement process.
“The Council procurement team is holding one-on-one meetings with local businesses to make sure they understand how to take part in Council’s procurement process,” Cr Hill says.
“Each meeting runs for 30 minutes and covers how the quoting and tendering process works, supplier requirements and any opportunities Council has for businesses.
“Council is committed to supporting local businesses, and these informative sessions are one way we can make sure Townsville businesses are up-to-date with our procurement processes.”
Cr Hill says these processes, systems and commitments all pointed towards confidence in the city’s future.
“There are billions of dollars of public and private investment forecast to be invested in our community in the coming years, which shows just how strong our future is here in Townsville,” she says.
“Local businesses will go from strength to strength as the city continues to grow.”
Click here to find out how you can do business with Council.