Far North Qld in dire need of state support

Ellis Beach, Far North Queensland. Image: Tourism Queensland. Image: Tourism Queensland.

State Government stimulus is needed to help improve unemployment and invigorate the local economy in far North Queensland, the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) has said.

A report sponsored by the LGAQ has shown Far North Queensland is still suffering the effects of the tourism downturn with an unemployment rate of 12.5 per cent.

Launching the Australian Development Strategies' Regional Unemployment Index report, LGAQ president Paul Bell said that the association had supported the report's findings during downturns, but was increasingly concerned about communities in the north where unemployment still remained high.

"The LGAQ has supported the report through difficult economic times in the interests of our member councils and their communities," he said.

"Thankfully, economic times have improved considerably.

"But this is not the case in the far north. To have one in eight of the population out of work in a generally-recovering national economy means something needs to be done by the State Government to stimulate the regional economy. Sadly, there's no evidence of that happening."

The report showed a slight rise in unemployment in Brisbane, but more significant rises on the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.

"On the brighter side, regions to the west of Brisbane, from Somerset, down to Lockyer, Ipswich and the Scenic Rim are showing improving figures," Cr Bell said.

"Outside the south-east of the state, the Darling Downs is catching up after a run of very low employment figures and the Mackay and Fitzroy regions are doing well." 

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