Once an agricultural centre, Chinchilla has grown into a diverse economic powerhouse with gas and coal exploration, the development of a power station and primary industry in grains, cotton and broad acre farming.
Located 300km from Brisbane, Chinchilla lies in the heart of the coal-rich Surat Basin. Significant coal seam gas exploration, massive LNG infrastructure projects and upgrades to gas pipes and rail links are just a few of the major projects that are fuelling growth in this area.
“With an estimated 250 years’ worth of viable coal resources, Chinchilla is considered Australia’s future energy hub,” says the Surat Basin Corporation website.
The town has ample amenities and has a number of schools from primary to tertiary. It has its own well-equipped hospital providing maternity and emergency wards and other medical facilities.
Chinchilla residents enjoy a wide range shopping and entertainment amenities in the main thoroughfare, including three major car dealers and an IGA Supermarket. All the four major banks and some smaller lenders have branches in the area.
While many regional areas in Queensland suffer from drought, Chinchilla has more than sufficient water supply for both its current and future needs, thanks to the Chinchilla Weir built in 1973. The Charley’s Creek Weir provides backup and additional water for gardening and other uses.
Chinchilla also provides other high quality facilities such as a 700-seat auditorium, cinemas and the Chinchilla Aquatic Centre.
Chinchilla is positioning itself as a tree change destination, as well as a base for business looking to take advantage of the booming coal and gas mining sector in the area – as well as the long list of other industries.
Chinchilla's population has been growing strongly over the past five years – a staggering 5% growth per annum according to SQM Research. The majority of residents own their homes (41%), while 39% are paying their mortgage and 20% are renting.
Rental demand is very high in Chinchilla, thanks to the ever-growing list of companies moving into the area. According to SQM Research, the monthly vacancy rate sits at around 2%. Rental yields are also very high.
No doubt as construction activity ramps up and workers start coming into the area, house prices and rents are likely to escalate.