News

A low-wage retirement region

THE NSW Northern Rivers has been characterised as a low-wage retirement region in a national report into the performance of regional Australia released this week.

The Australian Local Government Association's State of the Regions report has revealed a widening gap between regions that have benefited from the mining boom and those that have not.

The Northern Rivers and Mid North Coast regions both largely missed out on benefits from mining income.

"The regions with the lowest wage incomes per resident were all retirement regions along the east coast: NSW South Coast, NSW Mid North Coast, NSW Northern Rivers and Qld Wide Bay Burnett. Thanks to retirement migration all of these regions had experienced low rates of growth in wage incomes per resident for the previous two decades," the report said.

Instead it said retirees in the region derived more income from superannuation than previous generations of retirees, putting their level of income from property at similar levels to metropolitan regions.

The trend towards retiree migration has curtailed since the Global Financial Crisis and was reflected in a decline in housing construction in the region.

"This region's economic base relies on a mixture of retirement relocation and agriculture. Development has occurred along the coast and the region's economic diversity is being influenced by the Gold Coast as its influence spreads south. Aged care, hospitality and tourism, construction and agriculture provide employment," the report said.

Another developing trend is in new media using the internet for creative work.

"There are now some 3500 creative, new media workers in the region who rely heavily on the internet for their networks and business opportunities," the report said.

"This sector has grown rapidly because of the life

style opportunities the region provides for this group of knowledge workers and it is likely providing employment to the cohort of 15- to 24-year-olds in the region."

The report's authors argue the trend of regional disparity will continue unless there is a concerted injection of infrastructure investment to underpin increased national productivity and, by supporting business investment, generate export income

National Economics' Dr Ian Manning said as the mining boom slowed the "knowledge economy" was slowly re-emerging and would play an increasingly important role.

"Infrastructure investment will not only need to be about major projects like highways and airports, but investment in telecommunications and the built environment and associated activities that support the growth and development of the knowledge economy," he said.

"... this means investment in a range of infrastructure, from roads, airports, to education and telecommunications."

Australian Local Government Association president Dr Felicity-ann Lewis said all regions need to be smart about creating opportunities for their youth.

"The report argues that the idea of relocating young people to regions where work is available needs to be re-thought as there are already many young people unemployed in these regions," she said.

 

Facts

High-income economies, apart from those with a unique and extensive natural resource base, now depend on sustained innovation as the core driver of long-term economic growth.

Retirees are leaving high-income, high-cost, low-unemployment regions and migrating to low-income, low-cost, high-unemployment regions.

Low-productivity regions are aging rapidly while high-productivity regions are aging relatively slowly.

 

Rise in part time work

ON a positive note, the rate of unemployment in the 15- to 24-year bracket has dropped considerably since a 1999 high of 27% to 10.4% in 2014, according to the State of the Regions report.

Much of this can be attributed to a rise in part-time work, which has shifted from 37.5% in 1999 to 50.4% this year.

Eighteen-year-old Georgia Hackett is one those workers and has been employed part-time at Toast cafe, run by her parents, since she was 14 and is preparing to move to Brisbane, where she hopes to get a job in hospitality.

GAINING SKILLS: Georgia Hackett from Toast Cafe makes coffee. Photo: Leigh Jensen
GAINING SKILLS: Georgia Hackett from Toast Cafe makes coffee. Photo: Leigh Jensen

She said a lot of her friends from Grafton had to return home after moving because they didn't have the job skills to find employment in bigger cities.

"I've so many friends that are struggling to get work and some have had to move back home because they really haven't had the opportunity to gain fundamental skills," she said. "It's really important to get those skills while you're still young on top of job-specific skills.

"We (at Toast) like to train people young because people are a lot more malleable and take on a lot more information. It's when you really gain those fundamental skills," she said.

Topics:  retirement work



Unions take to streets as Sunday penalty rates cut

Retail workers will be among those hit by the changes.

Thousands of lowest paid workers to be hit by changes to pay rates

You're invited to help celebrate Col's last day

Col Green from the South Grafton Ex-Servicemen's Club who are having great success with their tribute shows.

South Services secretary-manager retiring

Local Partners

Buderim dad rejects gay son's emotional plea for second time

Bride and Prejudice: Son’s emotional plea rejected again by unmoved father

What's on the big screen this week

Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller in a scene from the movie T2: Trainspotting.

This week's new releases offer plenty of variety for movie buffs.

Yamba show sounds Crazy

GROOVY POP: Crazy Old Maurice is take to the stage at the Pacific Hotel Sunday afternoon.

Newcastle band to bring the house down in Yamba

Bernard, Kasey, Spooky Men, and more this weekend

Mal Eastick returns with his Blues Bar on Sunday at the Yamba Golf Club.

Touring shows bring mix of genres to Clarence

Duo Hard Drive to rock Clocktower Friday

Hard Drive, Stephen Herbert and Dwayne Doyle, who are playing at the Clocktower Hotel this weekend.

Enjoy Hard Drive at the Clocktower this weekend

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Hodges proud to be part of first channel dedicated to NRL

Justin Hodges is gearing up for his new gig on Fox League.

Footy star hopes to provide a voice for players on new NRL channel

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Houses selling like hot cakes

HIGH DEMAND: Maclean Valley 2 Coast principal Ingrid Nott.

Valley's housing market pushed by supply shortage and jobs growth

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!