Lake Macquarie Business Facts
Lake Macquarie City Council first undertook a comprehensive survey in 1997 of the major retail centres. This entailed collecting data on business mix, floor space and employment for the town centres. This data was also collected and updated in 2002.
Council’s Economic Development Department again updated the survey in 2008 and produced a report for each town centre, comparing data from the three surveys.
The Town Centre Coordinators are embracing the responsibility of collecting current business information from each of their individual town centres. This process will continue into the future and the survey will continue to be conducted on annual basis to ensure Council’s statistical data and reports remain current.
This data is also a prerequisite for individual centres for providing information to Industry and Investment NSW for grant funding.
Key outcomes of the Commercial Centre Study are:
- To provide a snapshot of the existing major commercial/retail areas in the City and an analysis of change between the survey periods.
- To review occupancy rates in each of the major shopping centres.
- To provide an assessment of business mix in each commercial centre.
Lake Macquarie is a unique large regional city. The city does not have a CBD, but has been serviced by two sub-regional centres at Charlestown and Glendale and supported by a range of District Centres.
The Lower Hunter Regional Strategy has designated Charlestown as a regional centre and Glendale/Cardiff and Morisset as emerging regional centres.
Over the past 14 years, there have been significant developments in many centres. Major commercial expansions occurred across all centres.
For this analysis, the 17 ANZSIC industries have been clustered into five major categories: Goods producing industries; Goods related service industries; Knowledge based service industries; Person based service industries; Government and essential services.
Throughout the studies anomalies in the data sets have occurred, mainly due to changes in collection boundaries and methodology, however, the statistics are a strong basis for analysis and planning.
Council appreciates the efforts of Town Centre Co-ordinators and Michelle McGinty, Project Officer, in compiling this report.
There have been significant developments across the nine commercial centres over the past decade including:
- Construction of Belmont Central Shopping complex including Woolworths
- Construction of Belmont, Cardiff and Toronto Aldi Supermarkets
- Expansion of Stockland Glendale
- Expansion of Centro Lake Macquarie
- Construction of Toronto Community Health Centre
- Extensions to Toronto Private Hospital
- Development of Centro Warners Bay and new Coles Supermarket
- Construction of Paris Apartments Swansea
- Construction of Swansea Centre
- Expansion of Morisset Village including new Coles, Woolworths and Country Target
- Extensions to Toronto Commercial Centre
- Major extensions to GPT Charlestown Square, doubling its size
- Construction of new Swansea Woolworths
- Development of several new major buildings in Charlestown including Alto, Landmark and Sky Central.
- New Cardiff Woolworths.
Amongst the key centres the following increases have occurred during the past thirteen (13) years from 1997 to 2010:
Number of Businesses
Lake Macquarie has a total of 1,844 businesses in its commercial centres in 2010.
2010 Number of Businesses per Commercial Centre
Larger commercial centres such as Charlestown are positioning themselves for a more dominant role in the provision of the ultimate retail experience. This is reflected in the recent expansion of GPT Charlestown Square. In addition, Charlestown is increasing its clusters of medical and specialist medical providers and financial service providers.
Smaller centres are experiencing growth from supermarket openings and expansions such as Woolworths, Coles and Aldi. Supermarket growth creates space for surrounding specialty stores and takeaway food outlets.
Traditional main street centres such as Warners Bay and Toronto continue to grow by developing leisure strips with smaller boutique stores and outdoor dining and cafes.
Permanent and casual employment numbers have been recorded for each Commercial Centre across the City.
Total Number of Permanent Employees 2010
In 2010, there were 6,326 permanent employees working within the commercial centres across the city. This represents a decrease of 1,040 permanent employees over a 12 month period. Largely due to the retail focus of the commercial centres and an increase in person based service industries there has been a shift away from permanent employment to part-time/casual employment. This impact may also be attributed to changes in employment legislation. Employers are losing confidence in committing to permanent employees instead opting for a mix of minimum permanent staff and a team of casuals.
Total Number of Casual Employees 2010
In 2010, there were 9,060 permanent employees working within the commercial centres across the city. This represents an increase of 1694 permanent employees over a 12 month period. The majority of this increase can be largely attributed to the opening of the extension to GPT Charlestown Square (an increase of 1531 permanent employees in Charlestown alone). However, largely due to the retail focus of the commercial centres and an increase in person based service industries, in general across the centres there has been a shift away from permanent employment to part-time/casual employment. This impact may also be attributed to changes in employment legislation. Employers are losing confidence in committing to permanent employees instead opting for a mix of minimum permanent staff and a team of casuals.
Vacancy Rates - Business 2009/2010
Vacancy Rates 2009 - 14.8% Vacancy Rates 2010 - 13.5%
Vacancy Rates - Square Metres 2009/2010
Vacancy Rates 2009 - 9.15% Vacancy Rates 2010 - 10.70%
There has been a considerable increase in floor space over the last 12 month period. The market in Lake Macquarie is adjusting to meet the additional capacity. At the time of data collection for this report a high percentage of the newer floor space had just been completed and not yet been leased. We hope to see over the next 12 months that the additional floor space is occupied with new business.
Commercial Centre - Morisset
Morisset is the primary centre of the Southlake district located between the Watagan Ranges and the lake. The district offers both lake frontage and mountain backdrop. Distinct ridgelines, waterways, wetlands, and bays enhance the natural amenity and visual quality of these features.
Morisset has one of the busiest rail stations within the Hunter network and has express train connections to Sydney and Newcastle.
Coal mining and energy generation are the economic activities within the area, along with horticulture in the Wyee area.
Many religious communities are located within the district including the Seventh Day Adventist Church and Avondale College at Cooranbong, a Buddhist Temple, and the Salvation Army.
Development and employment continues to grow with the establishment of an employment park, boasting the expansive Morisset Mega Markets and a wide range of distribution and manufacturing industry.
- Area Population: 3 890 including Morisset and Morisset Park (2006, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing)
- Central Business District: 137 businesses
- Leasable Commercial Floor Space: 22 548 m2
- Several urban development projects being planned or underway
- Mixture of rural, lakeside and urban living
- Forty-five minutes to Sydney’s northern suburbs
- Morisset Mega Markets
- Sanitarium Health Foods
- Coles, Woolworths and Country Target
- GP Superclinic
- Bunnings Hardware
- Further industrial land rezoned for bulky goods and light industrial use
- Major upgrade of railway station carparking
- Trinity Point marina development approved
- Urban development proposed at North Cooranbong, Wyee, Morisset, and Morisset Peninsula
Business Mix - Morisset
Number of Businesses
Business has increased in Morisset from 118 in 2009 to 137 in 2010. The new Woolworths development in now open and trading with surrounding specialty stores. The highest increase in business has been in the person based service industries increasing from 19 to 32 over the previous 12 month period. The increase is vacancies can be attributed to all specialty stores surrounding the Woolworths development not yet been leased.
Morisset - Number of Businesses
Leasable Floor Area
Leasable floor area in Morisset has more than doubled since 1997. Most recently it has been increased with the opening of the Woolworths development and surrounding specialty stores. There has been a consistent growth over the past 12 months in all areas except knowledge based service industries which have decreased from 3,184 m of leasable floor area to 2,925 m2 A reduction of 259 m2.
Morisset - Leasable Floor Area (m2)
The total number of permanent employees in Morisset has increased notably in the previous 12 month period increasing from 285 permanent employees to 366 permanent employees, representing an increase of 81 employees.
Morisset - Permanents Employees
The total number of casual employees working in the Morisset area has increased dramatically from 274 employees to 421 employees, representing an increase of 147 employees. The majority of the increase is in the goods related service industries and is attributable to the opening of the new Woolworths.
Morisset - Casual Employees
Australia and New Zealand Standard Industry Classification 1993 (ABS)
See Appendix A