As published by The Chronicle on 7th June 2018
MAYOR Paul Antonio has called the Toowoomba region a “powerhouse” of the Queensland economy, after sales from the city and surrounds hit the $10 billion mark for the first time.
New figures collated by ID Community revealed Toowoomba’s gross regional product was $10.4 billion in the 2016/17 financial year, with construction and real estate leading broad economic growth of 6.2 per cent.
Cr Antonio said the new GRP figures, almost double where Toowoomba was in 2001, showed the region was outperforming the rest of the state.
“Our GRP figure in the past 10 years has gone up around 3.6 per cent per year, without the peaks and troughs,” he told The Chronicle.
“We’re a significant powerhouse in the Queensland economy. Construction had the highest sales and the construction sector generate $3.1b and it’s the fourth largest employer.
“When you look at the outlook of the region, it’s pretty strong.
“The breadth of our economy and the opportunities present mean we’re still going to continue this upward trend.”
The statistics, compiled from Census and other industry data, revealed massive sales increases for construction, rental and real estate services, financial and insurance as well as health care from five years beforehand.
While manufacturing remained the region’s third most lucrative industry, its sales figures dropped by 1.5 percentage points, following a similar trend across Queensland.
Cr Antonio said he wanted to see Toowoomba continue to diversify its economy with forays into tourism as well as transport and logistics.
“In the next few years, you’ll see solid investments in logistics, but the trucking and rail industry will continue to grow,” he said.
“I’d like to see tourism ramp up.”
TOP INDUSTRIES BY SALES – 2016/17
- Construction – $3.138b (up $535m from 2011/12)
- Rental, Hiring and Real Estate – $1.541b (up $350m)
- Manufacturing – $1.116b (down $53m)
- Financial and Insurance – $1.018b (up $113m)
- Health Care and Social Assistance – $985m (up $152m)
TOP INDUSTRIES BY EMPLOYMENT
- Health care and Social Assistance – 12,443 jobs (up 1826 from 2011/12)
- Education and training – 8579 jobs (up 130)
- Retail trade – 7477 jobs (down 849)
- Construction – 7343 jobs (up 1560)
- Manufacturing – 5561 jobs (down 1556)