Friday, April 22, 2011

Salt in the wounds!

Prominent demographer Bernard Salt has a column in The Australian on interstate migration and the Queensland malaise.

"WHAT on earth is happening in Queensland? New figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that net interstate migration to the sunshine state during the September quarter was down 40 per cent on the corresponding quarter the previous year."

There are some interesting themes here which fit with the KS Global Economics view that the economic downturn afflicting Cairns is not something peculiar to our region, but also reflected widely in the non-resource Queensland economy. This should have implications for any appropriate policy response as suggested in Salt's conclusion.

"The bottom line is that I cannot see anything on the horizon to offer a turnaround view of migration to Queensland within six months, and probably up to a year.

Perhaps because of this gloomy outlook, it is important for business and government to consider the long view: Queensland is the Australian embodiment of the global demographic phenomenon known as sunbelt drift, which we know as sea change.

This trend isn't about to peter out any time soon, and especially with the imminent retirement of the baby-boomer generation.

And while this may be so, the question that remains for many in business is whether they can survive the pain while they wait for demographic rains to arrive."


Salt has also recently posted on the impact of disasters on population including reference to the Far North and previosu experience with Cyclone Larry.

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