Thanks to Paul Syvret from the Courier-Mail for quoting me on migration and population trends in his opinion piece published in the paper today on Weak population growth could spell trouble for Queensland economy. For the record, here are some relevant extracts:
As economist Gene Tunny notes, one of the big drivers of Queensland growth in the 1990s through to the mid-2000s was strong population growth, particularly interstate migration…
Part of that initial wave was driven by the disparity between Queensland house prices and those of southern capitals, along with Queensland’s relatively strong economic performance post the 1990s recession.
Those comparative advantages are less marked today, putting aside what Tunny describes as a “mad” Sydney housing market.
Certainly the lure of employment, exacerbated by the end of the mining investment boom, is not what it once was, with Queensland’s growth lagging behind that of NSW and Victoria.
“It is hard to believe that the [Queensland economy] has been so lacklustre for such an extended period,” Tunny says.
“We are still a branch-office economy … and there are better opportunities, particularly in Victoria.”
Previous posts of mine on migration and population issues include:
Interstate migration to Qld remains low, and we’re still losing people to Victoria
Qld public service redundancies likely contributed to spike in migration to NSW & Victoria
Good points Gene, these bad numbers plus a real lack of funds to inject and create projects is a real concern for Qld, I think as things slow down and construction comes off its highs many may regret not taking the opportunity to sell assets and free up some funds to keep the economy going. Other states have sold assets and are now reaping the benefits. The port of Townsville is a prime example, it requires a large injection of money to expand and upgrade but the Govt doesn’t have the funds to invest, so the asset will sit there producing at best a token return for the Govt but no substantial growth.
Thanks for the comment, Glen. I agree this is a real concern.
How would it all look expressed in per capita terms?
Good question, 800psi. A lot worse, as you’d expect. I will investigate. Thanks for the suggestion.