The French Files with David French
The French Files with David French

Ours a city with wealth says Rockhampton investment expert

THERE'S more to meet the eye when it comes to wealth in Rockhampton.

It is in fact the 17th-highest income-earning area in Australia, and is ranked above Melbourne, Toowoomba and the Gold Coast, managing director of Capricorn Investment Partners Limited David French (pictured) says.

Recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows Rockhampton's average total income for all sources excluding government pensions and allowances has steadily climbed over the past decade.

In 2005-06, the average total income in Rockhampton was $38,235 where as in 2010-11, it had risen to $50,076, while Gladstone and Mackay's average incomes had also risen dramatically (see accompanying graphic).

Mr French said the steady increase in Rockhampton was partly due to the exposure to the mining industry.

"Less than 2000 people from the area are directly employed in the mines, but the mining boom effects are seen in construction, electricity and gas sectors...the mining boom has led to a lot of money going into the blue collar sector that wasn't there before," Mr French said.

Another reason for Rockhampton's growing wealth, is it is a city that punches above its weight in professional services.

"Rockhampton has a lot of teachers, solicitors, accountants and doctors as it is servicing surrounding areas as well as the town - compared to places like the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast there is a bigger services base per head of population," Mr French said.

However, Mr French predicted incomes to stabilise as the construction phase of the mining boom came to an end.



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