The Toowoomba Region recorded a 6.2% boost to its regional economy, which saw the Gross Regional Product (GRP) break the $10 billion mark for the first time in the year ended June 30, 2017, according to new research.
Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio today welcomed the latest figures based on Census and other industry and government data.
Mayor Antonio, who chairs Toowoomba Regional Council’s Economic Development committee, said the multitude of infrastructure and related projects under construction had pushed the region’s GRP to $10.48 billion (for the year to June 30, 2017).
“The latest yearly figures equate to regional economic growth of 6.2%. This far exceeds national and state economic growth of 2.4% and a rise of 2.9% across regional Queensland,” Mayor Antonio said.
“It is also pleasing to note that the figures show a continuing upward trend. Remarkably, our average growth over the past 10 years is around 3.6% per year, which also exceeds the state average of 2.1%.
“Not surprisingly, construction had the highest local sales across all industries, valued at $3.1 billion. This sector is the fourth largest regional employer and generated more than $1 billion of value-add in the period.
“Other notable statistics include the highest annual valuation of building approvals in the same period of $653 million. Building approvals have exceeded $500 million for the past four years.
“Manufacturing contributes $625 million to the regional economy and is our largest international export earner, making up 42.7% of all exports from the region.”
The region’s solid economic growth over the past decade was faster than the state’s growth rate and faster than the population growth rate, which means the Toowoomba Region did not rely solely on population rises to boost economic growth.
Mayor Antonio said the details highlighted strong ongoing private investor confidence in the region’s economy.
“Our diverse regional economy, covering agricultural, health, education, manufacturing, retail and services sectors along with the growing transport, logistics and information communication areas, shows the importance of many different areas all contributing to strong economic output and employment opportunities,” Mayor Antonio said.
“Even when major national infrastructure projects, like the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing, the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail and a proposed intermodal hub, are built they will continue to provide easier and more efficient access to national and international markets for enterprises in our region and other parts of the country.
“Coupled with this diversity, the region also has one of the tightest labour markets in Queensland, with an unemployment rate of 5.3% compared with the Queensland average of 6.1% for the December quarter in 2017.
“Council’s recently released 2018 Toowoomba Region Economic Development Strategy details how we will liaise and work with all relevant parties from state departments and industry groups to local business and progress associations to drive new opportunities across our region.
“The strategy identifies a 20-year vision, Bold Ambitions 2038, to position our region as an internationally competitive, vibrant, diverse and inclusive economy that provides opportunities for employment, entrepreneurship and investment that enhance the region’s lifestyle and environment.
“Our population is expected to increase by 45,000 people to reach 210,000 by 2031. This will mean the creation of an additional 32,000 jobs in the Toowoomba region by 2041, with 10,000 of those to be located in Toowoomba’s CBD.
“I’m confident we can achieve the goals outlined in the 2018 Toowoomba Region Economic Development Strategy and position future generations to take advantage of our bold ambitions.”
For details, please visit, https://economy.id.com.au/toowoomba/gross-product?topic=home