Red alert: Job losses predicted for regional Queensland

SUBURBS in towns across regional Queensland could face major job losses this year, with new research naming them as "red alert" areas for emerging job losses.

The research, by the University of Newcastle and Griffith University, has highlighted those areas at risk of "employment vulnerability" this year in cities and towns around the country.  

It has identified suburbs in Gladstone, Rockhampton, Mackay, Bundaberg, the Sunshine Coast, Gympie, Warwick and Toowoomba as "red alert" areas for job losses.  

Published on Thursday, the research uses public data to create an "employment vulnerability index", to judge how likely job losses will be in specific Australian suburbs this year.

It cited a range of issues adding to the likely job losses, including the impacts of economic restructure in the agriculture and mining industry.  

The "red alert" suburbs were found to have the highest "potential job losses" based on areas that had the highest proportion of jobs thought to be at risk in the current economic climate.   "

As a result, any one person in a red alert suburb may have little risk of lob loss, while any one person in a low risk suburb might, in fact, be very vulnerable to job loss," the paper reads.    

"But in aggregate, we expect the job losses to fall predominantly in the red and amber (second-ranked) alert suburbs."  

While the paper said the long-term impacts of job losses were a "wait and see" situation, it said the challenge for the "red alert" areas would include rising financial hardship, a falling ability to pay bills and a rise in the range of social problems.    

'Red alert' suburbs for job losses in regional Queensland:

  • Gladstone (Tannum Sands): Boyne island - Tannum Sands; Clinton - New Auckland; Kin Kora - Sun Valley; Telina - Toolooa
  • Mackay: Andergrove - Beaconsfield; Slade Point
  • Bundaberg: Ashfield - Kepnock
  • Rockhampton: Lakes Creek
  • Sunshine Coast: Sippy Downs
  • Toowoomba: Wilsonton
  • Warwick
  • Emerald
  • South Gympie

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