Report reveals development figures strong on Coast
THE Fraser Coast's development industry is leading the way over the neighbouring Bundaberg region, new figures reveal.
And according to Fraser Coast businessman and developer Glen Winney, it's a sign the industry is on the mend.
A new report from the Urban Development Institute of Australia examines the contribution of the development industry to the employment numbers, monetary value and tax contribution of 13 Queensland regions.
In the Fraser Coast region, the development industry is responsible for about $125.3 million in wages and salaries and contributes about $556.3 million in Gross Regional Product each year.
About 1933 direct jobs and 2365 indirect jobs stem from the region's development industry, compared to 3023 in the education and training area, 3790 in retail trade and 5544 in health care and social assistance.
By contrast, Bundaberg's development industry is responsible for about 1894 direct jobs, 2323 indirect jobs and about 6.3 per cent of regional employment.
Managing director of Win Projects, Mr Winney, said while the figures were encouraging, more could be done to stimulate local growth.
"There's been a lot of residential developments, but we need that side of the commercial and industrial development as well," Mr Winney said.
"The commercial market has not recovered to anywhere near the pre-GFC numbers.
"But the figures now indicate the region is in recovery mode, so it's a very good opportunity to build on this and encourage that future of economic growth." To keep the figures sustainable, Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce president Sandra Holebrook said the Fraser Coast needed to make sure there was an emphasis on hiring locally.
"We've been quite focussed internally on residential developments, and it needs to get better for other sides of the business community," Ms Holebrook said. "Local content being enforced as high as possible is really important.
"There's more finances to be collected if we put pressure on developers to hire high-end technical specialists, like electricians and plumbers, locally."
The UDIA report notes the Fraser Coast's economy is "driven predominately by tourism".