Gladstone businesses report boom of disappointment

AHEAD of a Gladstone Chamber of Commerce and Industry survey, Gladstone businesses say they have felt the worst of the boom - without too many benefits.

The GCCI launched its survey of local businesses Tuesday night, but several businesses that spoke to The Observer said the boom period didn't last as long as was hoped.

They said wage pressures associated with the boom pinched without a corresponding increase in business.

"You talk to people down south and they think the streets were paved with gold. I can tell you they aren't," one proprietor said.

Manager of the Gladstone and Rockhampton Totally Workwear businesses, Jenny Ellerton, said there was a peak, but things had died off.

"I think that obviously with the announcement of Bechtel coming to town and setting up in 2011-2012, that was just massive for us," she said.

"There was a really big boom around that time, but I think we've really plateaued out."

She said the business had to get creative to offer workers incentives because competing with resource-sector wages was simply not possible.

"You have to tell them that you'll probably never be able to pay them anything near what other workers are being paid, so I guess it's about incentivising them in other ways," Ms Ellerton said.

"One of those ways is to offer a better work-life balance.

"I've found that part-time is the way to go because we have partners of the workers on Curtis, and they don't get too much time off. So the employee wants the time off when their partner is off."

Do you think Gladstone is set to boom or bust?

This poll ended on 20 December 2013.

Current Results

Boom. There are plenty of projects in the pipeline

28%

Bust. We're about due for one

37%

I think things will continue pretty much as they are now

34%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.



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