Queensland regions experiencing recession level unemployment

By Rob O’Brien

The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) has called for a ‘re-shuffling’ of the Federal Government’s stimulus after a report on regional unemployment.

According to the Australian Development Strategies’ Regional Unemployment Index, 10 out of 14 Queensland regions were experiencing recession levels of unemployment growth in the 12 months to September.

In Cairns alone 13.8 per cent of the regional workforce were unemployed, the report found.

LGAQ president, Cr Paul Bell said the report, sponsored by the association as a service to its member councils, found a number of regions in Queensland needed special attention, particularly Cairns.

“With the rise in the dollar and a continuing fall in inbound tourism, conditions could get far worse,” he said.

The report also documents serious unemployment in Mt Isa, Townsville, Wide Bay/Burnett, Central Queensland, northern parts of the Gold Coast and Logan and blue-collar commuter regions around Brisbane.

“My understanding is that $14 billion of the [Federal Government’s] stimulus package remains to be spent in Queensland in the six months to June 30 next year," Cr Bell said.

"It’s needed far more in certain areas than others, so there’s a good case for a re-shuffle of the spending."

According to the report, Brisbane City, the southern Gold Coast, Ipswich, the South-West and the Darling Downs are doing relatively well.
Cr Bell said the report stated that unemployment would continue to rise among younger, more mobile families for another six months.
To view the report, click here.

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