Regional Cities percentage growth

Livingstone Shire is one of the big performers in terms of Tourism recovery in Queensland’s regional cities.

Despite the tough economic times being experienced by most, Livingstone Shire has had some good news from its economic analysts.

The economic data shows that Queensland’s regional cities have been outperforming the national average in terms of percentage growth (no real surprise there), with Livingstone Shire (LS) one of the big performers in terms of Tourism recovery.

Net migration to Queensland is currently at an all time high, with the population growth in LS exceeding the State average.

Interestingly, the data shows us that the migration to LS is mainly coming from five locations: the Central Highlands region; the Isaac region; from Rockhampton; from Gladstone; and from the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. Migration from the southern states is also occurring, but not at the same rate.

The shire’s Gross Regional Product has grown by 4.8 percent or $98 million, reaching a total of $1.61 billion.

The three largest industries contributing to this are Construction, Agriculture, and Mining, but interestingly from the last census, there are an additional 350 small to medium businesses that now call Livingstone home.

Why is this data important? Well, together with the data we have on housing, health care, education and other sectors, it helps the council to identify where to apply its resources, and where to begin or continue lobbying other levels of government for a greater share of funding.

With funding for local governments reducing across Australia, it is imperative that councils fight for every dollar that’s available so that we can spend it in the right way.

As examples, we do this by supporting our businesses, by reducing debt, by supporting our community and sporting organisations, by facilitating responsible growth, and by protecting our natural assets.

On top of this we need to be loud and boisterous in opposing the constant shift of what were typically State government responsibilities to local government – with very little or no compensation.

This is called cost shifting, and it has been going on for as long as I have been in local government (approximately twenty-three years) and simply has to stop.

It becomes inordinately difficult for any organisation to remain profitable, to manage its assets appropriately, and reduce debt when more and more responsibility is placed on them without compensation.

According to the Queensland Auditor-General’s recent report, only 35 councils in Queensland recorded a surplus in 2022 (LSC was one of them), and 46 councils remain at moderate or high risk of not being financially sustainable.

These are alarming statistics given there are only 77 councils in Queensland.

They show that more than fifty percent of councils are at financial risk.

Livingstone Shire Council together with the Local Government Association of Queensland continue to work together to ensure that our community continues to prosper despite these challenges.