One of the Most Enlivening Places on the Planet

Article excerpt

FROM liquefying natural gas to refining alumina, the value of the various projects being undertaken in Gladstone probably totals around $100 billion. Many people don't seem to understand the extent or the impact of that work, including those that did the original environmental impact assessments. Leo Zussino, CEO of Gladstone Ports Authority, said he thought this was because the projects had been considered in isolation.

The mining boom is well established, but this gas boom is a well-funded, one-off opportunity to change the cultural and economic face of central Queensland. In Rockhampton and on the Capricorn Coast word is that house prices are already being supported by increased demand, and good-quality commercial office space is now at a premium. What is now needed is some improvement of the links between our regional centres, starting with a commuter tilt-train service between Gracemere, Rockhampton and Gladstone.

Arguing that there is no capacity represents a convenient failure of imagination, rather than any real constraint.

While Gladstone is booming and the rest of the region enjoys the overflow, it's not the only place.

I spent the weekend in Port Moresby, somewhere I first visited two years ago. …