New profile reveals strengths of Western Downs Region
A comprehensive report on the economic and business conditions for the Western Downs has revealed that the region is batting above the state average when it comes to productivity, Gross Regional Product, unemployment and growth in personal income.
The Western Downs Regional LGA Economic and Demographic Profile 2012 report, commissioned by Western Downs Regional Council, provides business organisations and government with timely and accurate data for planning and decision-making purposes, as well as promoting the region as a place to invest and do business
The report showed that industry productivity, a key component of economic growth, grew by 8.9% in 2010/11 – a far greater annual increase than the Queensland average of 3.5%.
While the estimated number of employed persons in the region grew by only 0.5% from the September Quarter 2010 to the September Quarter 2011, the unemployment rate of just 4.4% was significantly lower than the Queensland average of 5.5% and Australian average of 5.1%.
The average personal wages and salaries income for the region was estimated at $39,688 in 2008/09, representing a significant increase of 12.3% from the level recorded in 2007/08 ($35,355) and an average annual increase of 7.6% over the last five years. By comparison, the average income for Queensland rose annually by 6.8% to $44,501 in 2008/09, whilst also averaging annual growth of 5.6% over the previous five years
The estimated resident population of 32,071 in June 2010 represented a growth of 1.9% over the year to June 2010, which was marginally lower than the average growth for Queensland (2.0%)
Forecasts project an average annual population growth in the Western Downs of 1.5% for 2010-31. However, the report noted that caution should be used in interpreting standard population projections as these typically rely on historical birth, death and migration rates in calculating forecasts, with little reliance on expected economic activity, such as the significant resource sector growth in the Western Downs LGA.
Gross Regional Product (GRP) rose by 0.3% in 2010-11 for the Western Downs, a result which maintained the region’s performance at better than that of Queensland (0.2%). Strongest GRP growth was in Tara (7.7%) and Miles/Wandoan (3.9%).
In terms of business, a total of 4,523 businesses were operating in the Western Downs in June 2009, dominated by the Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing sector with 51.6% of total businesses, followed by Construction (9.2%), Rental, Hiring & Real Estate Services (7.8%), Retail Trade (5.1%) and Transport, Postal & Warehousing (5.0%).
In relation to housing, the report found that Miles/Wandoan experienced a surge in dwelling approvals to the June Quarter 2011, up by more 800%. Dalby (69) and Chinchilla (106) continued to dominate dwelling approvals in the region. The region’s median house price went back to $235,000, a drop of 11.5% in the year to the September Quarter 2011.
Economic & Demographic Profiles for the Western Downs region and districts of Chinchilla, Dalby, Miles and Tara have been completed every year since 2008, making the 2012 Profiles the fourth annual publication of this information.
The 2012 profiles are presented in the same format as previous years and include:
- Population (including projections)
- Age Distribution
- Gross Regional Product
- Business Numbers
- Labour Market
- Building Approvals
- Household Projections
- Economic Diversity
- Property Market
- Tourism Accommodation
- Petrol Prices
- Demographic Profile