How many jobs Rocky lost due to the coronavirus pandemic
THE ROCKHAMPTON region’s economy is estimated to have fallen by -11.2 per cent and 3121 jobs were lost as a result of coronavirus.
Rockhampton Regional Council submitted a report to the Queensland Legislative Assembly Inquiry into the Queensland Government’s economic response to COVID-19.
The report, which was presented at Tuesday’s council meeting, focused on the impact on local economic conditions and businesses across the Rockhampton region as a result of COVID-19, which has been “significant”.
The Rockhampton region has a population of 81,512 and services a broader population across Central Queensland of 225,000.
According to the report, pre-COVID-19 the Rockhampton economy was “growing slowly”, with the gross regional product for the year ending June 2019 at $5.12 billion, having grown 0.4 per cent since the previous year.
The latest economic modelling estimates the gross regional product will fall by -11.2 per cent in the June 2020 quarter.
Local jobs are forecast to fall by -7.7 per cent, which equates to a loss of 3121 local jobs, dropping Rockhampton’s unemployment rate to an estimated 15.4 per cent with 8,572 people out of work.
Adding the JobKeeper recipients to the figures, the employment fall is -12.3 per cent with a loss of 4967 jobs.
It is noted some people may have held multiple casual or part-time jobs and only count once as unemployed.
The sectors most affected are accommodation and food services, retail trade, other services and professional, scientific and technical services.
The report notes the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the Rockhampton economy comes on the back of multiple natural disasters in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017 in the region.
The report states “with stubbornly high pre-COVID-19 rates of unemployment combined with low rates of economic growth, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic to the local economy and community will be more severe than the effects experienced in other regions”.
From a council financial stance, the Rockhampton Airport has experienced sharp falls in travel demand and passenger numbers following government-mandated travel restrictions.
The Rockhampton Airport is Australia’s largest local government owned and operated airport, in terms of passenger numbers and aircraft movements.
From March 2020 to date, the airport recorded a 95 per cent reduction in passenger service charges and landing fees.
It is noted the Rockhampton tourism industry has economic outputs of around $475 million annually, employing 2288 and supporting 821 jobs.
The council report acknowledges the government funding already provided but states there is more that needs to be done and a key number of business aren’t eligible for some funding models.
Potential capital works have been proposed which would provide benefits across a range of industry sectors to help recover from the COVID-19 economic crisis.
The key projects Rockhampton Regional Council would like to see planned and prioritised include:
-Funding for Rockhampton Airport terminal redevelopment and airport apron extension.
This would counteract significant revenue losses and operating deficits and investments in growth infrastructures. The airport has regional benefits, supports tourism and is a critical piece of economic and community infrastructure.
-Secondary school construction in Gracemere:
The school would cater for future and existing demand, drive more families into the town to increase population and economic growth and strengthen the community.
-Proposed boundary realignment:
Move Glenlee, Glendale and Rockyview residents back in Rockhampton should they vote to return.
-State Development Area established at Stanwell:
To leverage potential manufacturing opportunities from the COVID pandemic and proposed hydrogen project
-Major sports stadium:
Commitment needed for the delivery of a Rockhampton sports stadium
-A range of other critical infrastructure project includes:
•Gracemere sewage treatment plant augmentation
•Parkhurst strategic road access
•Glenroy Crossing new high level bridge