At nearly 41,000 people in the twelve months to 30 September 2021, net interstate migration to Queensland is the highest it’s been since the early 2000s, according to the ABS’s latest population estimates (see chart below). Queensland is the fastest growing state in Australia, at 1.1% yearly compared with 0.3% nationwide. Obviously, this has been a big contributor to Brisbane property prices growing the fastest in the nation over the last twelve months, an incredible 29.7%, according to CoreLogic (see Growth in Australian housing values continues to lose steam as Sydney records first decline in 17 months). During the pandemic, many Australians obviously reassessed their lives and decided to move to Queensland, either for the first time or back here. While, in my view, some of our COVID-related restrictions were excessive, they were nowhere near as harsh as the measures in Victoria, and our lockdowns didn’t last as long as those in NSW and Victoria, so comparatively we looked very good.
Yesterday, we also learned from the ABS that the unemployment rate remains at a very low level, no doubt partly due to lower labour supply growth associated with a lack of international migration. In February, Queensland’s unemployment rate was 4.3% compared with a national average of 4.0% (see the chart below).
Finally, the war in Ukraine goes on, and it is still disrupting the global economy, as well as being an humanitarian crisis. Coal prices remain at crazily high levels (e.g. see the coking coal 1-month ahead “1st position” and 12-month ahead “12th position” futures prices in the chart below).
The hundreds of millions of dollars of extra royalty revenue to Queensland as a result of the super high coal prices mean the Queensland Government has lots of additional money to throw at its favourite causes such as electric vehicles (EVs), which are getting an extraordinary $3,000 subsidy from the state government. What a wasteful and highly inequitable policy measure, one where the benefit will largely go to affluent households, many of whom would already be planning to purchase an EV. Wouldn’t that money be better spent on flood repairs or on needy schools or hospitals? Sure, we need to massively reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next few decades, but this is an inefficient and inequitable policy regardless, in my opinion.
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