New Hope Group is undertaking an extensive rehabilitation program at its New Acland coal mine.
New Hope Group is undertaking an extensive rehabilitation program at its New Acland coal mine. Lyndon Keane

Minining boom has failed to lift average incomes in QLD

THE mining boom has failed to lift average incomes in Queensland, with the median household income still 5% below the national average, new research has found.

Research by the Centre for Policy Development examined the effects of the mining boom in the Sunshine State, finding the benefits have not generated average pay rises outside the industry.

Report author Laura Eadie said over-investment in the sector during the boom meant productivity had dropped as miners move to exploit lower quality mineral reserves that cost more to dig up.

"Past busts suggest relative incomes could go back to 15 per cent below the national average, as the investment phase of the current boom cools," she said.

The report, Ms Eadie argued, showed a need for the state's economy to diversify away from mining - a key issue being examined by the Queensland Plan under development.

That 30-year state government plan will provide the over-arching direction for the state's economic future, and has included consultations across Queensland with many residents and organisations.

Ms Eadie said the state was now seeing an "inevitable industry shake-out" as coal prices fell and cheaper new competitors entered the energy market.

"China's deliberate transition to an advanced economy will continue to impact upon commodity markets, slowing trade growth in the products Queensland supplies," she said.

A working draft of the Queensland Plan is still open to public submissions, with the final plan expected to be released mid-2014.


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