Campaigning pollies recognise importance of resources sector to Qld economy

The Guardian Australia’s Queensland correspondent Ben Smee has a nice summary of our Premier’s first week of election campaigning in his article on the Queensland paradox, whereby politicians have to appeal to voters in both Townsville and Toowong:

The premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, began her hi-vis “jobs, jobs and more jobs” campaign by hopping across north Queensland, pushing a pro-mining message.

The Premier is right to acknowledge the importance of the mining sector to Queensland. For instance, it has undoubtedly helped mining-dependent Central Queensland regions cope with the COVID-shock better than many other regions (e.g. see the map below based on ABS data).

Incidentally, I’ll be travelling up to Central Queensland later this month, to give a presentation to the Capricorn Enterprise Annual Major Projects Forum in Rockhampton on Thursday 29 October, just two days before the state election. Also presenting will be Queensland Resources Council head Ian Macfarlane.

The ABS SA3 region worst-affected by the COVID-shock in Queensland has been Surfers Paradise, where, early last month, there were nearly 8% fewer payroll jobs than there were in mid-March, before the social distancing measures began (see map below).

Here’s how North Queensland has fared (see map below). The marginal rise in employment in the Far North SA3 (shaded light green) may be due to some additional positions in remote Indigenous communities, although it’s impossible to know for sure based on the data.

And here’s the map for the Sunshine Coast and surrounds.

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