Queensland Treasury’s non-resident population projections for the Bowen and Galilee Basins show Barcaldine in Central Queensland is the next regional town that will boom due to an influx of fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) and drive-in, drive-out (DIDO) workers (see chart below I’ve copied from Treasury’s note). I think Series C in green gives the best indication of likely FIFO workers, because it includes projects for which an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) has been lodged. While they haven’t been approved yet, the projects probably have a reasonably high likelihood of proceeding. These projects have the potential to bring over 3,000 FIFO/DIDO workers into a Regional Council area with only around 3,300 residents currently.
Regarding the big economic news of the day, I’m surprised the RBA has cut the cash rate to such a low level. It must be very worried about the manufacturing sector in southern States, and it may be attempting to bring the exchange rate down. Given the Australian dollar is still trading above parity with the US dollar, the RBA will need to cut interest rates much further if it would like the currency to get back down to a level that will make manufacturers happy – i.e. a level much less than parity and probably in the 70-80 US cents range.