Yeppoon main beach.
Yeppoon main beach. Amy Haydock

Surge in number of Rocky people working on Cap Coast

AN ADDITIONAL 413 Rockhampton residents are now commuting to the Capricorn Coast for work.

This figure is a 46.4 per cent increase over five years (2011 to 2016).

2011's Census revealed 890 workers living in Rockhampton commuted daily to the Capricorn Coast, with that number surging to 1,303 commuters recorded at the time of the 2016 census.

Capricorn Enterprise chief executive Mary Carroll said it had been long established that a third of the workers who live on the Capricorn Coast commute daily to Rockhampton for work, but this increasing trend in the reverse is most interesting.

"An increase in Rocky workers commuting to the coast for employment reflects industry growth in Yeppoon and the beachside communities which is a positive indicator of economic growth,” she said.

Commuters from Rockhampton to the coast are mainly in the areas of manufacturing, public administration, education and training, followed by construction, accommodation/food services and health care.

Among those in the industrial side of things is Frenchville man, Chris Thompson.

Mr Thompson travels to Yeppoon each day where he works at Reece's Plumbing Supplies.

"It's good thinking time,” he said.

Mr Thompson has worked with the business for 10 years with the last three and a half years at the Yeppoon store.

When he was offered to change stores, Mr Thompson said he had to consider it a lot.

"It was something I put a lot of time into,” he said.

Each morning he leaves home at 5.15 to be at work by 6am.

"It adds an extra hour to my day which is sometimes hard,” he said.

The father of two said he probably wouldn't consider moving to the coast.

"We're pretty settled in Rocky and I have a young family and don't want to move them, they go to school here,” Mr Thompson said.

The figures of commuters travelling from Rockhampton to Yeppoon surprised Mr Thompson.

"It did because there is not a lot of traffic when I go down,” he said.

"I know of a few apprentices that do it but that's about it.”

The other way around, 34 per cent of Capricorn Coast residents commute to Rocky daily for work. This figure has increased by less than five per cent in five years.

"The statistics also demonstrate that more workers are being employed locally on the coast, which augers well for local job seekers,” Ms Carroll said.

"Whilst Rockhampton will continue to be the capital of CQ, a strengthening coastal economy is just as important.”



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