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Townsville floods yields employment green shoots; regional economic snapshot

Townsville floods reconstruction welcome stimulus

Six months after the devastating Townsville floods, the region’s peak marketing body for North Queensland, Townsville Enterprise, has provided an update to its members on the outlook of the Northern Australia regional economy.

In its quarterly economic snapshot, TEL reflects on the February 2019 Townsville floods which impacted 3,000 homes and local businesses.

The flood recovery was a key aspect of Townsville’s slow and sustained economic recovery over the past quarter, the regions marketing and lobby organisation said.

Townsville Floods February 2019, Police Officer stopping traffic entering flood waters Image: Aaron McLeod, TREN eMag

“Many residents are beginning to return to their homes post-flooding; however, reconstruction efforts are expected to remain a significant driver of economic activity for some time to come,” TEL reported.

On the back of the stimulus of reconstruction activity and the $300 million expansion of the Sun Metals refinery, the “broader economy had shown increasing strength.”

Townsville floods victims cleaning up after the February 2019 event in North Queensland. Image: Aaron McLeod, TREN eMag

The beginning of construction of the $2 billion Adani Carmichael Coal Mine has also been a  key factor in helping to “improve the employment outcomes and sentiment across the region.”

The unemployment rate has fallen from 8.5% to 7.8% in March. However, the seemingly positive performance in job numbers has occurred in part due to 1800 people that have exited the labour market because of the Townsville floods.

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North Queensland Regional economic outlook

The North Queensland economy is facing continued risks due to the downturn in residential construction activity. Just 459 new dwellings were approved in the past year.

Availability of capital for investors and homemakers has restricted buying and building settlements.

Townsville flood victims resourcefulness on display in the street of the City during the flood event in February 2019. This resident’s boat, which was used to rescue neighbouring victims, is fastened to the front fence after flood waters reseeded. Image: Aaron McLeod, TRENeMag

Restricted lending conditions and years of weak employment outcomes continue to constrain demand for new dwellings and housing purchases generally. Weakness has persisted despite record low interest rates and an extremely tight rental market,” TEL reported.

As the Townsville floods recovery and reconstruction works wind down in the coming quarter, TEL said, the “labour market, population growth and housing market statistics will be of key interest over the coming months to gauge the trajectory of the North Queensland economy.”

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Aaron M, Editior
Aaron is the founder and editor of TREN eMagazine with 15 years experience in the real estate industry investing and helping investors seek value, leverage value and capitalise on value, developing professional and technical skills and capabilities that have enabled his success in business from startups, adoption, asset growth, management and community leadership projects. Aaron also loves travelling, sports, his partner Jodie and helping people discover their "why" and find their few "what's" in life that realise the "wows. The " www" in is one of his why, what and wow's that strive to add valuable content and analysis for readers to participate and win.

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