Declared in 2003, the 4915-hectare Townsville State Development Area (SDA) is a defined area of land dedicated for industrial development. It is located about six kilometres south-east of the Townsville CBD and 2 kilometres south of the Port of Townsville.

Situated at the junction of the national road network (Bruce and Flinders Highways), with direct connections to major rail networks and the Port of Townsville, the Townsville SDA is positioned to be the preferred location in North Queensland for the establishment of industrial development of regional, state and National significance.

Managed by the Coordinator-General, the Townsville SDA supports economic development in a way that considers environmental, cultural and social issues as well as existing industry and surrounding infrastructure within the region.


The Townsville SDA is open for business

The Townsville SDA is positioned to meet the needs of large scale projects as evidenced by the major industries that are established within the SDA. The Townsville SDA is currently home to:

  • Aurizon Stuart intermodal facility
  • Aurizon locomotive and rolling stock maintenance facility
  • Glencore Xstrata copper refinery
  • JBS Australia abattoir
  • Origin Energy Mt Stuart peaking generator plant
  • Pacific National rail freight terminal
  • Sun Metals Zinc refinery
  • Townsville City Council landfill
  • Townsville correctional facility

New industries considered suitable for the Townsville SDA include a diverse range of port, rail, and road dependent industries such as:

  • manufacturing (chemicals and metals production)
  • minerals processing
  • intermodal freight and logistics
  • bulk storage.

Benefits of the Townsville SDA

The Townsville SDA provides benefits to business and industry looking to invest in Queensland including:

  • locational advantages including access to:
    • the Port of Townsville, Queensland's third largest port, handling more than 7.3 million tonnes during the 2017-18 financial year, with over 30 different commodity types imported and exported including copper, zinc, lead, sugar and fertiliser
    • rail routes running north, south and west with key connections to the North Coast Rail Corridor and North West Rail Corridor
    • the national road network, at the junction of the Flinders and Bruce Highways which provide access north to Cairns, south to Mackay and Brisbane and west to Charters Towers and Mount Isa
  • efficient use of land, including:
    • a dedicated transportation corridor, providing direct road access to the Port via the Townsville Port Access Road
    • the future potential to divert rail freight access to the Port through the Eastern Access Rail Corridor and to provide a services and materials transportation corridor to avoid the Townsville CBD and residential suburbs
  • opportunity for large-scale heavy industry to co-locate with existing industries, with existing industrial enterprises and large areas of greenfield land available for development
  • a large workforce and major support services within the city of Townsville
  • efficient processing of land use applications
  • best practice land-use planning and management - ensuring land and infrastructure assets are, and remain, attractive to existing occupants and potential investors.

The Townsville SDA Development Scheme

The Townsville SDA Development Scheme is a regulatory document that controls planning and development within the Townsville SDA.

First approved by the state government in 2005, the development scheme has been amended numerous times. The current version was approved in July 2013 following a series of detailed investigations including environmental, economic and infrastructure studies in the Townsville SDA.

Download the current Townsville State Development Area Development Scheme (PDF icon 718 KB).

The development scheme contains a development assessment framework for making, assessing and deciding applications and requests relating to development within the Townsville SDA. The most common of these is an application to change a use of land.

Note: An application to change a use of land means an SDA application for a material change of use.

The development scheme for the Townsville SDA is supported by a public consultation policy (PDF icon 65 KB) that provides information on matters the Coordinator-General may consider when determining whether public consultation of an SDA application is required.

The Townsville SDA maps and targeted land use precincts


Acceleration of the Townsville SDA

Townsville SDA success story – Aurizon Stuart Intermodal Facility

Land ownership

Further information

For further information on the Townsville SDA, contact the SDA Division on 1800 001 048 or via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.