IPSWICH manufacturing has been thrown a bone with the State Government finally including the city in a regional jobs stimulus package.
On Tuesday the State Government announced the $20 million package to boost the ailing manufacturing sector in regional areas “where unemployment is higher than the state average”.
It’s the state government’s third major jobs announcement and this time Ipswich business are in a good position to win some of the cash with the grants aimed at businesses embracing new technologies.
Manufacturing is Ipswich’s biggest employer keeping about 10,700 people in a job but the industry is struggling.
Ipswich’s unemployment rate has been steadily rising and is now sitting at 8.3%, up from 6.7% 12 months ago, compared to 6% across the state.
The State Government has assured Ipswich business owners they will be eligible to apply for the grants; unlike in June when Ipswich was excluded from a regional youth jobs package, despite having a youth unemployment rate of 13.4%.
For steel manufacturer Perry Evans the support is welcome although he’s a little sceptical.
For 40 years JA Evans and Co steel fabricators have been running their family business out of Ipswich and before the Global Financial Crisis the company employed 55 people.
Now that’s down to about 30 employees.
Owner Perry Evans said 30 years ago most of his customers were Ipswich businesses, however, today only about 15% of his work comes from within the city.
“We used to service the power station, places like the butter factory which are now gone,” Mr Evans said.
“They were blue collar jobs and good jobs. Governments of both persuasions have shut down a lot of work in the manufacturing industry and there has been nothing to replace them.”
JA Evans has embraced innovation and technology, including using a high definition plasma cutter, namely to keep down costs.
The introduction of the new piece of equipment might have cost one person their job, but it puts the company in a better position to take on more work; if the demand picks up.
“We had our best six months this year from January to June but that’s slowed down now,” Mr Evans said.
Mr Evans said he would be looking to apply for the state government’s grants but wasn’t convinced the $20 million would filter down to small businesses.
“I’ve seen the government announce these sorts of things before… Small business in general seems to miss out. I’ll believe it when I see it.”
Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard said she fought hard to ensure Ipswich didn’t miss out.
“I know Ipswich is part of south-east Queensland but our unemployment rate is too high,” Ms Howard said.
“I wanted to make sure we got our fair share.
“Ipswich firms are already on the way to adopting innovative technologies and processes to boost their output and that in turn leads to more jobs for local people.
“I’d like to see as many of our manufacturing companies applying for the grants.”
The grants on offer, announced as part of the state government’s mid-year budget review, will be between $50,000 and $2.5 million with the $20 million to be spread across two years.
The mid-year announcements also included a $200 million fund for minor infrastructure projects with Ipswich City Council in the running to land some of that cash.
Ms Howard said winning some of that funding would be of “critical importance” for Ipswich with any infrastructure or maintenance project creating much needed jobs.
Originally Published: http://www.chinchillanews.com.au/
Queensland’s population hits 5 million people today
Queensland’s population has tipped the 5 million mark today, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has told State Parliament.
Ms Palaszczuk said several expectant families were on standby to welcome the state’s five-millionth resident.
“Somewhere today a brand new mum and dad will be eager to meet their new arrival,” she told the house.
“The whole family will want to know: is it a boy or is it a girl? And the doctor will say, ‘congratulations, it’s a Queenslander’.”
Ms Palaszczuk said the two main drivers of the increase were migration growth, particularly from New South Wales, and from 60,000 babies being born in the past year.
PHOTO: The state’s five-millionth resident was born today.(ABC North Queensland: Nathalie Fernbach)
“Overseas and interstate migration is up by 50,000 people in the past year, 19,000 came from interstate … more than 12,000, or 230 a week, move from New South Wales to Queensland,” she said.
ABS data also revealed the fastest and largest-growing area in Queensland in 2016-17 was Pimpama on the Gold Coast, which grew by 3,000 people.
Large growth also occurred in Jimboomba on Brisbane’s south side and in North Lakes — a suburb north of the city — which both increased by 2,100 people.
Coomera on the Gold Coast and Springfield Lakes in Ipswich also experienced large growth up 1,400 people.
The State Government’s population counter gives a “synthetic estimate” of the number of current Queenslanders, assuming a total population increase of one person every 6 minutes and 22 seconds.
Earlier this year the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said Queensland’s population was growing at 1.7 per cent and was projected to tick over to 5 million in May.
ABS data released in March also revealed Brisbane was one of the country’s fastest-growing cities and had increased by 48,000 in 2017, hitting 2.4 million people.
ABS demography director Anthony Grubb said the state’s population had “come a long way” in the last century.
“In 1901 the population was half a million; a tenth of what it is today… it took 37 years to hit the 1 million milestone in 1938 and another 36 years to reach 2 million in 1974,” he said.
But Mr Grubb said population growth “picked up the pace” after that, taking just 18 years to reach 3 million then only another 14 years to hit 4 million in 2006.
Queensland could be leading growth state in future
Population demographer Dr Elin Charles-Edwards said although Queensland is not currently the fastest growing state, it is possible it could top the leader board later down the track.
‘Not in the short-term, but Queensland is coming up off a relatively subdued growth so perhaps we might be entering an era of more rapid growth,” she said.
Dr Charles-Edwards said the challenges that generally come with increased population could be managed in Queensland.
“As long as we keep up and don’t take our eye off the ball we can continue to absorb quite high levels of growth… but really it’s keeping up with the infrastructure that’s the key challenge,” she said.
Dr Charles-Edwards said it was important to note some parts of the state, particularly in western Queensland, were experiencing population decline.
“While the south-east corner is growing and also many Indigenous communities are growing, other parts of the state are shrinking,” she said.
“Perhaps we could do more to encourage people to move outside the south-east corner.
“If we were able to work out some way to decentralise our population, growth a little bit further up into the northern regional centres, I think that would benefit the growth of south-east Queensland.”
APRA to end cap on property investor loan growth
APRA is removing the 10 per cent ‘speed limit’ on investor loan growth.
Photo: Louise Kennerley
The banking regulator is axing a 10 per cent speed limit on bank lending to property investors, saying the cap has served its purpose and improved credit standards.
With Sydney house prices falling and credit growth slowing, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority on Thursday said it would remove the cap for bank boards that could prove they had been following its guidelines on prudent lending.
In late 2014, amid a surge in borrowing by property investors and rapid house price growth, APRA took the rare step of setting a 10 per cent limit on the annual growth in banks’ housing investor loan portfolios.
The measure has rocked the mortgage market in recent years, prompting banks to jack up interest rates for housing investors, and demand borrowers stump up bigger deposits.
But on Thursday, APRA chairman Wayne Byres said it was prepared to remove the measure because there had been an improvement in lending standards and a slowdown in credit growth.
“The temporary benchmark on investor loan growth has served its purpose. Lending growth has moderated, standards have been lifted and oversight has improved,” Mr Byres
Even so, the regulator will retain a separate 2017 policy that requires banks to limit their new interest-only lending to less than 30 per cent of all new home loan approvals.
APRA also said there was “more to do” in improving other aspects of banks’ lending, including how they assessed borrowers’ expenses, their existing debts, and the approval of loans that fell outside of banks’ formal lending policies.
APRA said it expected banks to introduce limits on the proportion of new lending that could be done at “very high” debt-to-income levels.
“In the current environment, APRA supervisors will continue to closely monitor any changes in lending standards,” Mr Byres said.
“The benchmark on interest-only lending will also continue to apply. APRA will consider the need for further changes to its approach as conditions evolve, in consultation with the other members of the Council of Financial Regulators.”
Brisbane’s population picks up, but more people moving to Pimpama
Brisbane’s population hit 2.4 million in June 2017, according to ABS figures.Source:Supplied
BRISBANE is back among Australia’s fastest-growing cities thanks to a growth spurt, but more people are flocking to areas outside the state’s capital.
New figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the city’s population grew by 48,000 in the year to June 2017 to hit 2.4 million — the fastest rate of growth in four years.
Births accounted for 37 per cent of the growth, while interstate migration accounted for 25 per cent.
The fastest and largest-growing area in Queensland is Pimpama on the Gold Coast, which grew by 3000 people or 31 per cent in 2016-17.
An aerial shot of Pimpama on the northern end of the Gold Coast. Picture: skyepicsaerialphotography.Source:Supplied
Other areas to experience significant population growth include Jimboomba on the southern outskirts of Brisbane, North Lakes-Mango Hill in the Moreton Bay region, Coomera on the Gold Coast and Springfield Lakes in Ipswich.
ABS demography director Anthony Grubb said the latest population estimates were the first to include data on the components driving population growth in capital cities and regions.
“It is now possible to not only see how much population is changing in an area, but to understand why this change is occurring”, he said.
Michael Matusik, director of independent property advisory Matusik Property Insights, believes Queensland’s improving population growth should impact house prices, but it hadn’t so far because the state’s economy also needed to improve.
Mr Matusik told The Courier-Mail Pimpama’s population was growing at a rate he didn’t believe was sustainable.
“It’s a reflection of where land supply is on the Gold Coast at the moment and I think that will calm down,” he said.
“But if the Gold Coast is going to continue expanding, those areas will become more like North Lakes in due course.”
Sydney’s population grew by just over 100,000 people in one year for the first time, taking that city’s total numbers to 5.1 million.
Australia’s big east coast cities carried most of the growth — Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane accounted for over 70 per cent of Australia’s population increase.
Darwin, Adelaide and Perth grew at 1 per cent or less.
TOP FIVE POPULATION GROWTH AREAS IN QLD
Suburb Population change 2016-17 Population as at June 30, 2017
1. Pimpama, Gold Coast 30.8% 12,586
2. Jimboomba 7.9% 28,639
3. North Lakes-Mango Hill 6.7% 33,225
4. Coomera 10.3% 15,227
5. Springfield Lakes 8.7% 17,468