EMPTY LAND: Developer Doug Forbes believes he can transform this paddock into a profitable bulk storage facility.
EMPTY LAND: Developer Doug Forbes believes he can transform this paddock into a profitable bulk storage facility. Declan Cooley

Region crying out for bulk storage facility

PROPERTY developer Doug Forbes' deceptively simple plan to kick Gracemere to the curb and turn Gladstone into the trucking capital of Central Queensland is well underway.

"Our strategy is to target medium to large scale contractors and logistics companies requiring affordable large scale storage options for equipment either when demobilising or mobilising for projects or servicing the Gladstone port," Mr Forbes said.

"What I'm trying to achieve is to use my land here and offer large scale storage for a much cheaper price than what you're going get if you go into town."

Although Gladstone truckie and owner of KJP Haulage Kirk Porter had some minor reservations about Mr Forbes plans, he believed the region was crying out for a truck depot and storage facility.

"Gladstone relies heavily on the transport industry and people in town don't realise that," Mr Porter said.

"At the moment we've got trucks parking all over the joint and more should be done to house our trucks.

"One [storage facility] is not enough," he said.

Mr Porter's only concern was that he would prefer the storage facility to be in Gladstone.

He said in the past he had tried to get a trucking depot with washing and maintenance facilities on Bensted St, at Beecher and close to the port but had been knocked back by the council.

But Mr Forbes says his location is ideal for an industrial centre because it was away from residential areas, close to the Dawson and Bruce Hwys and a dedicated heavy haulage route.

"At the moment all the road trains go to Gracemere to decan all their stuff there and then load them onto trucks but with these bridges coming in they should be able to bring them closer to Gladstone which will be a big benefit for us," Mr Forbes said.

He praised the state government for putting up the cash to replace the old timber bridges between Gladstone and Biloela.

Through Mr Forbes' business, CQ Bulk Storage, he plans to pour $1.5 million into the project to develop the entire 240,000sq m site which sits between Racecourse Rd and Taragoola Rd.

To put this in perspective, the site is equivalent to the size of 32 football fields and will be able to fit 3,600 shipping containers on it.

But, he admits, there is still plenty of work to do.

"It's just a big paddock at the moment," Mr Forbes said.

"And my concern is the scale of it because it is so big I'm going to need big customers and that will be the challenge."

Although the idea to transform a huge area of land in Calliope into a spot where truckies, large scale contractors and plant equipment hire companies can store machinery may seem simple, if Mr Forbes vision is realised, he hopes the area will turn in to an industrial hub that will service the region for years to come.



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