Deloitte Confidently Queensland Report
North Queensland can add $21bn to its economy and create 80,000 more jobs
According to Deloitte, the opportunities in north Queensland are there for the taking as long as business, government and communities actively work together. The regions are the engine rooms of productivity for the state producing the major exports of gas, coal, minerals, tourism, meat, manufactured products and crops.
25 October 2017: According to Deloitte, the opportunities in north Queensland are there for the taking, from Wide Bay through Fitzroy and Mackay, to Townsville and Cairns, as long as business, government and communities actively work together.
At the regional launch of its comprehensive report Confidently Queensland: Liveable communities, Diversified economy, Inclusive growth Deloitte Access Economics Queensland, leader Dr Pradeep Philip said: “Our regions are the engine rooms of productivity for the state. Our major exports of gas, coal, minerals, tourism, meat, manufactured products and crops are all produced regionally. They continue to deliver substantial dividends and consistency to the State.
“Gas exports for instance are forecast to grow 3.1% each year until 2021. And as our international exports also continue to grow, up 43.1% to $68.1 billion over the past year, so too our focus on the productivity end game must build on this growth and move us up the value chain.
“By being smart as well as using our natural advantages, we can choose which markets we can be the best in. In this way we will be able to diversify and deliver on the promise of a $21 billion boost to the northern coastal regions’ economies by 2027, than if we remain ‘as is’ under a ‘Business as Usual’ scenario,” Philip said.
The report points out what those in Far North Queensland know only too well, that one-third of Queensland’s income in 2014-15 was earned by just one-tenth of the population, and it wasn’t them.
The Deloitte research explains why, pointing out how the rising inequality in labour market outcomes and income had occurred amid rising prosperity. It points to ways to change the dynamic.
The significant growth potential in the northern coastal regions will only occur by adopting policies that capitalise on the uptake of new technologies and create better access to international customers and new markets, particularly those from Asia.
Dr Philip explains: “The high dividend from productivity that is possible also brings higher business confidence and its natural follow on, increased investment. The good news is that this is already trending north - up 10.4% according to our last Deloitte Access Economics’ Quarterly Business Outlook – a third consecutive quarter of growth.
“As investors witness returns on projects, they scan for similar opportunities that will in turn create higher labour demand, and so create more employment opportunities for people in the region. We project this demand, coupled with increased migration into the northern coastal regions, will boost employment by 2027 over business as usual to the tune of 80,000 full time equivalent jobs,” Dr Philip said.
The employment impacts are shown in Chart B.
At a gathering of some 50 businessmen and women at the Cairns Aquarium Tuesday 24 October, John Greig, Managing Partner Queensland Deloitte said: “For Queensland to be a future maker, rather than a future taker, we need to make sure we build on the potential Queensland has to be even better than it is today. We can transform to… and achieve growth, rather than just try and transform from… by taking costs out of the system.
With this vision, the result of numerous consultations and focus groups with a wide range of people from business, industry, government and the community, our own research and data, and a survey of 6000 people in Queensland and across Australia, we determined that Queensland has the potential to be even better than it is today, and even greater than current forecasts suggest.”
The Confidently Queensland report outlines a vision for 2027 for the state where the economy is nearly 10% bigger adding an extra $54 billion to its Gross State Product, and creating an additional 230,000 jobs. The regions will have their fair share of this booty as described and will also be able to boost population growth, and make sure that young Queenslanders have less need to move away.
A resounding theme revealed in the 6000-strong national survey was the importance of Queensland’s liveability. Greig said: “We found that along the coast, we value our recreational opportunities and community cohesion. Which together with economic opportunity, affordability, education and an inclusive society, will make sure we build the future Queensland we want to live in.”