Blackwater’s Kathleen Champion enjoys an afternoon shopping in Rockhampton yesterday.
Blackwater’s Kathleen Champion enjoys an afternoon shopping in Rockhampton yesterday. Allan Reinikka

Miners dig Rocky for its bargains

A NEW survey has revealed what Blackwater mine worker Kathleen Champion has known for years – Rockhampton is Central Queensland’s bargain centre.

While it might come as a surprise to the many in Rockhampton who are battling soaring living costs, Queensland Treasury figures show Rockhampton offers CQ’s best value for money.

Earlier this week Treasurer Andrew Fraser released the findings of the survey which compared 43 localities across Queensland against Brisbane, which was the index benchmark of 100 in nine categories of costs for household goods and services.

Central Queensland mining towns dominated the upper reaches of the list with Moranbah and Blackwater the most expensive.

Kathleen has been in Blackwater with her family for about 20 years.

“If you have your own house or the company you work for helps with housing it’s okay,” said the 25-year-old who drives trucks at Curragh.

“But otherwise it’s hard.

“I still live with my parents, which is a lot cheaper than moving out.”

She said the family regularly came to Rockhampton to buy goods such as clothing and electrical appliances.

“Blackwater is okay if you are in a jam, but if you don’t need something straight away people come to Rockhampton where prices are a lot less expensive.”

Rockhampton’s cheaper housing brought down its overall figure, at just over 83% of the Brisbane price.

But while Rockhampton fared well in Central Queensland it was costlier than other parts of the state.

Toowoomba (94.7), Bundaberg (94) and Ipswich (96.3), were cheaper.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said addressing an acute housing shortage would go most of the way towards relieving cost-of-living pressures in Central Queensland’s coalfields.

The scarcity of housing was the “villain of the piece” in inflating the cost-of-living in resource communities.

“Take out housing, and the cost-of-living in resource communities is on a par with much of regional Queensland,” he said.

Blackwater is okay if you are in a jam, but if you don’t need something straight away people come to Rockhampton where prices are a lot less expensive



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