Qld has lowest annual growth in retail turnover among States and Territories

Weak economic conditions in parts of regional Queensland, particularly the Townsville, Central Queensland and outback regions, have no doubt contributed to Queensland having the lowest through-the-year growth in retail turnover among States and Territories, according to May retail turnover data released by the ABS yesterday (see chart below). I was alerted to Queensland’s poor performance on this indicator by Queensland Treasury’s handy information brief on retail trade. As I noted in Monday’s post, there is an urgent need to enact policy changes that promote economic development, and to streamline regulations and reject anti-development attitudes that are stopping many different types of projects.


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4 Responses to Qld has lowest annual growth in retail turnover among States and Territories

  1. Glen says:

    Staggering graph Gene, your point regarding anti development attitudes is a valid one. Despite the incredible downturn in Townsville the council here have an attitude towards developement that would be more akin to the northern beaches of Sydney. I have noted before that if the stadium in Townsville does proceed there if every likelihood it will sit like a pimple on the landscape, with nothing around it. The state govt along with the Towsnville Port should take over the whole waterfront precinct and remove all approval process from Townsville council.

  2. States with low annual retail trade growth are the ‘mining states’. States with higher annual retail trade growth are the ‘non-mining states’. All this chart really tells me is the transition from the mining boom is happening. It’s hard to counteract such powerful economic forces, particularly for relatively small cities a long way from other major centres. Yes there are potentially large economic gains to be made from relaxing land and other regulations. In the USA an academic paper estimates about $1.5 trillion could be added to GDP if land zone regulations were relaxed (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/04/business/how-anti-growth-sentiment-reflected-in-zoning-laws-thwarts-equality.html?ref=topics&_r=0). But these gains take time. In the shorter time frame M1 and M7 widening and heavy rail infrastructure expenditure ala NSW could help alleviate the economic woes in QLD (although focused on primarily on SEQ).

    • Gene Tunny says:

      Yes, the transition out of the mining boom is clearly an important factor. But I think the adverse impact, particularly on regional economies, is greater than some people expected. Thanks for the reference to that interesting US study, Alistair.

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