Businesses at the new Kirkwood Rd Shopping Centre included Divine Avenue. Amber McLeod is pictured at the store.
Businesses at the new Kirkwood Rd Shopping Centre included Divine Avenue. Amber McLeod is pictured at the store. Chris Chan

Gladstone shopping improved in 2012, but is it enough?

THERE has been plenty of news being made in Gladstone in 2012 as the resources boom continues to affect the city.

In the first of a series of Year in Review specials, The Observer team looks back at some of the things that made news in the region this year.

Gladstone's retail precincts continued to develop as the city grew.

The Woolworths Shopping Centre on Kirkwood Rd opened in April with about 15 specialty stores including a Priceline, cafes and restaurants, and clothing store Divine Avenue.

Stockland Kin Kora continued to be well patronised by the Gladstone community.

Some shops opened and closed down, and one of the most discussed topics in the community was the questioned need of a fourth jewellery shop opening in the centre.

In December Stockland announced that the Kin Kora centre would be the site of future development, with the company submitting a development application for a $150 million redevelopment.

If approved, it will include two redeveloped discount department stores, a redesigned supermarket and a vibrant new mix of specialty retailers and restaurants.

The Nightowl shopping centre saw some changes over the year as stores came and went.

New store Jarckadeh's Hippy Shop opened next to the IGA, and Boyne Island's Saltt Clothing expanded with a new store in the centre.

In other news in Gladstone this year, Gladstone Regional Airport was corporatised.

Speculation surrounded the status of the council-owned business, which was leaning towards corporatisation in the new year.

In June Gladstone Regional Council passed a motion to corporatise the airport.

This coincided with the resignation of former general manager Glenn Robinson.

The Bruce Hwy continued to make headlines with a record number of accidents, a lack of overtaking lanes, rough and narrow surfaces and potholes.

The resources boom continued to affect the region, with thousands of new residents arriving in town for work on major projects and spin-off industries.

Gladstone Regional Council struggled to find funding for new social infrastructure to cope with the population boom.

In particular, the proposed retirement village on Philips St, the need for more child care, suburban roads struggling to cope with heavy traffic and the struggling hospital were all hot topics caused by Gladstone's boom.

Small businesses were getting plenty of work but couldn't find staff.

Rents for businesses and residents also soared.

To read more about the Bruce Hwy, Gladstone Regional Airport, child care issues, disability issues and the Gladstone Harbour Festival, click here.

To read more about indigenous events in 2012, the city's first same sex marriage rally, harbour health, the resources boom and health issues, click here.

For more on LNG, coal and alumina, 2012 elections, strife in the city's nightclub scene, the big events of 2012 and HookUp, click here.

For more on retail, housing prices, roadworks and the NBN rollout, click here.