Pain as over-reliance on industry costs Gladstone $1.7b

GLADSTONE has overwhelmingly worn the brunt of the resources downturn in the Fitzroy region.

New figures, released by the industry's peak-body, the Queensland Resources Council, reveal Gladstone suffered the highest rate of job losses and the worst hit to its gross regional product (GRP) in the local government areas of Fitzroy.

Those areas include the Banana Shire, the Central Highlands region, Livingstone Shire, the Rockhampton region, and Gladstone region.

The figures show the extent to which Gladstone has placed all of its eggs in one basket.

The resource sector accounted for a staggering 87.5% of GRP in 2014-15, much higher than Mackay, Queensland's second most resource-reliant region, where the sector accounted for 55.3%.

SCROLL | Resource sector's economic report card for each of the Fitzroy region's five local government areas

Central Highlands saw an increase in the economic benefits of the sector, which flooded the region with $1.74 billion in 2015-16, up from $1.334 billion the previous year.

Banana, $186.9 million less on the previous year, and Livingstone, $14.1 million less, were relatively minor reductions. Rockhampton saw $495 million wiped off its GRP, a reduction of $1.284 billion in 2014-15 to $789 million in 2016.  

But in all of these reductions the pain felt among locals was much less than in Gladstone, with the sector only reducing its share of the GRP by 12% in Rockhampton, 4.8% in Banana, and 1.3% in Livingstone.

In contrast, Gladstone saw a reduction of 38.5% to just 49% of GRP, which equated to about $1.9 billion out of the local economy.

Resource companies increased their monopoly over Mackay's GRP by almost a billion dollars, accounting for 66% of GRP.

The plummeting price of alumina, the end of Bechtel's project on Curtis Island, and falling coal prices throughout 2015-16, also saw Gladstone suffer the most significant job losses in Fitzroy.

Central Highlands enjoyed 326 more jobs and Livingstone (down 120 jobs), Banana (down 111), and Rockhampton (down 209), all had relatively minor reductions.

But Gladstone saw its workforce in the resource sector reduce 897 jobs, from 2313 jobs in 2014-15 to 1416 in 2015-16. 

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