MAYOR'S MESSAGE: Positive signs for Fraser Coast economy
THERE are positive signs of growth all around us - from multi-million-dollar developments proposed for Maryborough and Hervey Bay, to falling rental vacancy rates across the region.
The Real Estate Institute of Queensland's September quarter vacancy rate data shows that the number of vacant rentals in regional Queensland is dropping.
The data, especially out of Mackay and Rockhampton, gives credibility to the news that the mining sector is starting to gear up again, which is good news for the Fraser Coast.
While we might not have mines here on the Fraser Coast, the mining industry is a major market for manufacturing and engineering companies which are based here.
The fall in vacancy rates also points to other aspects of a healthy economy - such as a strong tourism sector and the growth in our medical and allied health sector.
People who come to the Fraser Coast for work are more likely to rent while they find a job or settle into their new position.
The tourism industry has been through some ups and downs this year, battered by Cyclone Debbie and then having to overcome the perception that there was nothing left to visit in Queensland.
But it is recovering and I believe we are well on our way to reaching the target of one million visitors a year in Hervey Bay and 200,000 visitors for Maryborough.
Recently we've seen a couple of tourism reports which showcase the strength and resilience of Fraser Coast industry.
While there was a 9 per cent dip in numbers of tourists visiting the Fraser Coast in the previous financial year, those who visited spent 21 per cent more than those in the previous year.
Further evidence of that confidence can be seen in the number of passengers moving through the Hervey Bay airport which, at the end of the 2016/17 financial year, reached an eight-year high of 192,632 travellers.
I think the evidence is there that the Fraser Coast is entering a stage of sustainable momentum.
Council will continue to drive our economic agenda through targeted campaigns to attract innovative new industries as well as helping existing industries expand, especially to develop new products.