Regions mean business
BUSINESS confidence in Mackay, Rockhampton and Gladstone has suffered a bigger hit from the downturn in new mining investment than from the flood event from tropical cyclone Oswald.
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland regional manager Victoria Bradshaw said the flooding had mostly impacted smaller towns and should not have too much impact on the region's economy.
"Businesses in Mackay, Rockhampton, Emerald and Gladstone have felt limited impact due to recent weather events, particularly in comparison to the floods experienced two years ago when Rockhampton and Emerald businesses experienced extensive financial losses," she said.
"Some smaller regional towns such as Baffle Creek, Agnes Water, Tannum Sands and Boyne, have been isolated due to road closures, which has had an impact on access to supplies and trade."
Ms Bradshaw said agricultural properties in areas around Jambin and within the Banana Shire were also hard hit.
"Absenteeism due to road closures or property damage will also have had some impact on business, however, this was very short-lived. Businesses should have been able to get back on track in a relatively short time frame," she said.
"The main impact that floods have in central Queensland is the lack of reliability of the Bruce Hwy due to road closure, which in turn means that businesses cannot get supplies in or transport goods and produce out.
"In the 12 months leading to the end of 2012 most people feel that the downturn had bottomed out.
"They are therefore entering 2013 with a view that businesses can understand the market and manage their expectations with little fluctuation anticipated."
MANY Wide Bay/Burnett businesses were dealt a devastating blow by the floods that followed tropical cyclone Oswald down the Queensland coast, according to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland.
Regional manager Hamish Bolderston said the effect had been "wide-reaching and varied throughout the region with many businesses left completely devastated".
"Others (were) able to operate in a limited capacity while they re-established and some with minimal damage," he said.
He praised the efforts of businesspeople and government departments to help the region.
"Different to recent events there has been a very proactive message from all levels of government and the business community to ensure that people know that regional centres are open for business," he said.
"Local consumers continue to have needs to be met and local business is doing all that is possible to provide the service.
"It is hoped that activity driven by rebuilding will help with recovery, however, longer-term initiatives will need to be considered to help attract new investment."
Mr Bolderston called on local people to support businesses as they got back on their feet and suggested governments might need to do more in the medium term to promotethe region.
THE effect of ex-tropical cyclone Oswald on businesses and the general economy in the Ipswich region was largely short-lived, according to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland.
Regional manager Colin Fruk said some businesses, particularly in Laidley, were hard hit but most Ipswich businesses only had to cope with a loss of trade caused by people staying home.
"It was a nervous couple of days once the flood warnings were issued, but on the whole, Ipswich escaped relatively unscathed," he said.
"There doesn't seem to be any real long-term consequences for local business. There was a measurable increase in confidence as businesses looked towards the new year (but) it is too soon to tell whether ex-cyclone Oswald has put a dampener on that new enthusiasm."
A THIRD flood event in as many years has been the reality for some businesses in Warwick, Chinchilla and Laidley this year.
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland south-west regional manager Roger Gorrel said last month's floods had "placed a great deal of pressure on the business owners, not only from an economic point of view but from a social point of view, as well".
"People need to be mindful that businesses are now open and ready to do business," he said.
"Some areas of economic activity, especially around the agricultural sector in the Lockyer Valley and parts of the Somerset, Southern Downs, South and North Burnett local government areas, will take longer (to recover) than other businesses."