Like every area of Australia (and indeed the world), there’s a lot of work ahead of Lake Macquarie as the community looks towards a future beyond coronavirus. In terms of the virus itself, we aren’t out of the woods yet, but as restrictions begin to ease, the long-term effects of COVID-19 on the economy come back into sharper focus.
There’s no denying these effects have been monumental – but all hope is not lost. In fact, Lake Macquarie is ideally positioned for strong economic recovery in the coming months and years. Below, we’ll take a look at a few of the reasons why.
With a current population of just over 200,000, Lake Macquarie’s population projections for the coming years show a strong rate of growth. Over the next 20+ years, the population is expected to increase to over 230,000, with the broader Hunter region targeting a population of over 1,000,000 by 2038.
Available land and a focus on fast-tracking investment continue to gear the area towards this strong growth, and with a blooming population comes increased market and employment opportunities – key aspects of any economic recovery plan.
Construction based on residential development will be one of the key levers for Lake Macquarie’s recovery. In recent years, the focus on residential construction at a City level has become ever stronger – and with a target of 2,459 new dwellings p.a., the housing boom is set to continue, bringing more people to the region and more dollars to the local economy.
Increase in decentralisation of workforce
After steadily gaining popularity in recent years, remote working became the norm for many in 2020 as COVID-19 shut down workplaces as we knew them. Even as restrictions are lifted and workers are permitted to make their way back to the office, the “work from anywhere” trend is likely to continue its acceleration. Decentralising the workforce is an increasingly popular notion for employers looking to reduce both risk and operating costs, throughout and beyond the pandemic.
As remote working from home offices and coworking spaces becomes a preference in many industries, Lake Macquarie finds itself well placed for businesses to build their workforces. As well as the coworking options available in the area, Lake Macquarie offers an enticing option for migration out of larger cities (more on this below).
Lake Macquarie is ideally located in a central position on the eastern seaboard. It’s close to Sydney (a little over 90 minutes by car, and just over two hours by train), and right next door to Newcastle. With easy access to road, rail, port and airport options, it offers ease of distribution and direct access to Australia’s largest market – factors that will be important in attracting future contributors to economic growth.
Low cost base
While Lake Macquarie is close to Sydney, the fact that it isn’t Sydney means significant savings for businesses. Compared with the capital city, Lake Macquarie offers much more cost-effective options for companies looking to reduce overheads, allowing them to run their businesses with all the benefits and none of the debilitating costs exacted by a bigger city. (For instance: the cost of industrial land in Lake Macquarie is up to 80% less than the equivalent in Sydney, and commercial rentals are 25% below Sydney averages!)
The same goes for residents. With increasing employment opportunities and a much more affordable cost of living, Lake Macquarie is an inviting prospect. And the more businesses and residents attracted to the area, the bigger the boosts the economy will receive as Lake Macquarie navigates its COVID-19 recovery.
Capacity building in important emerging sectors
Lake Macquarie is home to nation-leading innovation hubs and many fast-growing sectors. Think advanced manufacturing, agri-tech and med-tech (see the recent example of the local development of emergency hospital ventilators, designed and built in Lake Macquarie to aid in the fight against COVID-19).
With a range of smart city initiatives, product development incubators and ideal resources for tech-based operations, Lake Macquarie is ideally positioned to boost the growth of key emerging sectors – and, in turn, the local economy.
While emerging sectors are important for economic growth, established sectors are just as vital to Lake Macquarie’s recovery post-pandemic. Industries such as community services and care, health, mining, logistics, transport and warehousing are strong in Lake Macquarie, and have remained so throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
It’s these resilient sectors that form the bedrock of the region’s economic stability, and provide strong foundations for its path to recovery.
Looking for your next investment opportunity? Join hundreds of smart companies who’ve worked with us to rapidly advance projects in Lake Macquarie. Contact Development Executive Derrek Lush on 0488 068 448.