The Gympie Region’s economy has ground to a halt, recordings its first drop in Gross Regional Product in three years.
The Gympie Region’s economy has ground to a halt, recordings its first drop in Gross Regional Product in three years.

Surprise shift in key Gympie industries ends years of growth

GYMPIE’S economy has taken a step backward, recording its first drop in Gross Regional Product in five years.

Economic data reveals Gympie’s GRP for the 2018-19 financial year was $2.19 billion, down 0.4 per cent on the year before.

The dip brought to an end three straight years of economic growth.

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The value add of Gympie’s agriculture industry slid 16 per cent from 2017-18 to 2018-19. Milk. PICTURE: ZOE PHILLIPS
The value add of Gympie’s agriculture industry slid 16 per cent from 2017-18 to 2018-19. Milk. PICTURE: ZOE PHILLIPS

It was in contrast to the Queensland economy, which grew by another 1.2 per cent.

The region’s agriculture and fishing industries took the biggest it; their value to the region’s economy dropped from $211 million to $177 million, a slide of 16 per cent.

Construction’s value to the region shrunk from $209 million to $191 million, and manufacturing declined from $224 million to $214 million – but remained the region’s most productive industry.

The industries experiencing the biggest surge were mining (up from $98 million to $118.5 million) and professional, scientific and technical services (from $56 million to $77 million).

Construction was the most popular industry within the region, generating $646 million in local sales.

Mining was one of the surprise big movers in the 2018-19 financial year. Photo Tessa Mapstone
Mining was one of the surprise big movers in the 2018-19 financial year. Photo Tessa Mapstone

Rentals and real estate ran a distant second at $252.9 million.

Professional and technical services experienced the highest jump in local sales, from $98 million in 2017-18 to $135 million in 2018-19.

Gympie MP Tony Perrett said these figures were a “glaring example” of the financial damage drought could cause.

“It is there in front of us in black and white,” Mr Perrett said.

“For 11 months of 2018-2019 the region had been in drought and had experienced drought leading into it.”

Fourteen months of continuous drought will always have an impact on production which then has a flow-on effect to the local economy, Mr Perrett said.

MP Tony Perrett says the drop reflects the financial impact of the drought. Picture: Shane Zahner
MP Tony Perrett says the drop reflects the financial impact of the drought. Picture: Shane Zahner

“The decline in construction in that period would have impacted our forestry and logging,” he said.

“In 2018-2019, Queensland recorded four straight quarters of decline in construction work done which has continued into this year with a further three consecutive quarterly falls.

“Compared to the peak under the LNP in 2013, trend quarterly construction work done has fallen by nearly a half (a fall of $8.2 billion).”

He said it must be noted that Gympie’s GRP recorded a cumulative growth of 8.7 per cent before this hiccup.

The region’s economic slow down was in contrast to the state’s, which continued to grow.
The region’s economic slow down was in contrast to the state’s, which continued to grow.

And despite the agricultural industries’s decline they “will continue to be a significant industry sector in Gympie”.

“At 9.9 per cent it was still one of the top three largest industries, accounting for a third (32.6 per cent) of value adding to our economy,” Mr Perrett said.

Mr Perrett said he was encouraged by the growth in other sectors, providing a diversity which will address the region’s systemic employment problems.

Gympie Times


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