Economic: Indicator Group Results
Economic Health Results
The overall grade for the economic component of the 2014 Gladstone Harbour pilot report card was a B.
Of the three indicator groups, economic stimulus received the highest score of 0.87. This was driven by the comparatively high socio-economic status of the Gladstone community and high levels of employment.
The overall score for the economic performance indicator group was 0.83. This reflected strong results for the shipping sector dominating mixed results from commercial fishing and an average result for hotel occupancy due to recent changes in the construction industry.
The indicator group economic value was assessed in terms of non-market values of recreation and received a score of 0.75. This score was largely driven by land-based and beach-based recreational activities, and was also affected by recreational fishing.
All economic data were converted to 2014 dollar values to adjust for inflation and enable comparison over time.
Economic Stimulus Indicator Results
What was measured?
The economic stimulus indicator group consisted of two indicators, employment and socio-economic status. The grade for employment was based on unemployment statistics for the Gladstone Local Government Area provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The most recent ABS data were for the 2013 December quarter. Unemployment in the Gladstone Local Government Area was compared with unemployment rates in all Queensland Local Government Areas.
The score for socio-economic status was derived using an economic measure known as the Index of Economic Resources (IER) which focuses on the financial aspects of relative
socio-economic advantage and disadvantage by summarising variables related to income and wealth. This method takes into account income extremes (both high and low) in a population, as well as household ownership, costs of living and other indicators relevant to economic wellbeing in the community. The IER was formally calculated using Australian census data for the Gladstone region, and then estimates were fine-tuned using the information collected in the community survey.
Why was it measured?
Employment and Socio-economic status were measured to assess economic stimulus within the region and to establish a baseline for comparison with future assessments.
In the long-term this will allow trends to be plotted over time to measure performance in relation to the GHHP vision that Gladstone has a healthy accessible working harbour
The unemployment rate of 4.8% was within the lowest 30 per cent within the State, giving a score of 0.72 for this indicator.
The high score for socio-economic status was driven by the high proportion of residents who fall into high income groups, the relatively high proportion of home ownership and the relatively large size of houses in the region.
Economic Performance Indicator Results
What was measured?
The economic performance indicator group consisted of three indicators: tourism, commercial fishing and the level of shipping activity. These were selected to reflect the key industries using the harbour, and weighted according to economic activity and a survey of local industry and community leaders. All economic data were adjusted for inflation into 2014 dollar values, and then aggregated into a grade for each of the three indicators.
The grade for tourism was based on expenditure on hotel accommodation using a method known as capacity utilisation. Capacity utilisation would normally compare current expenditure on hotel accommodation to the maximum potential expenditure. However, hotel occupancy rates in Gladstone were inflated in the early 2000’s due to an influx of large numbers of construction workers. To avoid this short-term boom period biasing all subsequent results downwards, expenditure on hotel accommodation was compared to 10-year average expenditure (2002-2011). The data were provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and were based on the 2012-’13 financial year as those were the most up-to-date data available. Hotel occupancy is a standard measure of tourist activity, and usually includes business travel. As expenditure on hotel accommodation in Gladstone is strongly influenced by business and industrial travel, it provides an indicator of overall economic activity encompassing more than recreational travel alone.
The grade for commercial fishing was based on fisheries production (value of the landed catch) in four fishery sectors: the net, line, pot (mud crab) and otter trawl fisheries in comparison with average production over the period 1990-’91 to 2012-‘13. All fisheries data were collected from the area within Queensland Fisheries Grid S30. This grid is made up of Gladstone Harbour and the open coastal waters immediately adjacent to the harbour. The net, line and pot fishery data all came
from information supplied by commercial fishers working inside Gladstone Harbour and the otter trawl fishery data came from commercial fishers working just outside the harbour and primarily based in Gladstone.
Data on monthly shipping movements by cargo type, destination and origin were provided by the Gladstone Ports Corporation. The grade for shipping activity was also based on capacity utilisation, calculated as the current level of shipping activity relative to the maximum potential level of shipping activity in Gladstone Harbour. As LNG loading facilities on Curtis Island have yet to commence operations, shipping capacity in Gladstone Harbour exceeds current shipping activity. Data for the 2012-‘13 financial year were used for this pilot report card as that was the most recent year for which financial statistics were available.
Why was it measured?
The economic performance of shipping, tourism and fisheries were measured to assess economic performance within the region and to establish baselines for comparison with future assessments. In the long-term this will allow trends to be plotted over time to measure performance in relation to the vision that Gladstone has a healthy accessible working harbour.
Total expenditure on hotel accommodation (recreational, business and construction-related travel) in the Gladstone region was $77 million in 2012-’13. This was well down on the peak of over $200 million that occurred in 2005-’06 when the previous wave of construction activity peaked. Expenditure on hotel accommodation in Gladstone in 2012-’13 was about 60% of the 10-year average level, leading to a score of 0.60.
The Gross Value of Production (GVP) for Gladstone Harbour fisheries in 2013-’14 was $4.9 million, well above the long-term, inflation-adjusted average of $3 million. This was the second highest GVP on record for the
area. However, each of the four sectors comprising the commercial fishery of Gladstone Harbour performed differently in 2013-’14. In general economic terms, the line and net sectors performed very poorly, while the trawl and pot (mud crab) sectors performed very well. Line fishing productivity in 2013-’14 was virtually zero. Line fishing productivity in Gladstone Harbour has always been fairly low, and has been close to zero since 2010. Net fishing productivity in 2013-’14 was about half of the long-term average for this sector. Net fishing productivity in Gladstone Harbour was fairly stable from 2005-2008, then fluctuated considerably from 2009-2012 before the low productivity of the past two years. In contrast, productivity in the trawl and pot fisheries was higher in 2013-’14 than in any other year over the past decade. Trawl fishing productivity in 2013-’14 was about double the long term average for this sector, while pot fishing productivity in 2013-’14 was about 25% higher than the long-term average for this sector. Combining the fishing effort and productivity data across all four sectors yielded a score of 0.66.
In 2012-’13, the Gladstone Ports Corporation generated $889 Million in revenue. Coal exports accounted for around two thirds of export shipping and bauxite imports for the aluminium industry provided around half of the import shipping. The total quantity of ship movements was slightly higher in 2012-’13 than in previous years, reflecting the steady increase in shipping movements that has occurred since 2006-‘07. Capacity utilisation was thus very high relevant to past years, but is not at 100% as the Curtis Island LNG loading facilities are not in production yet. Thus, the overall score for shipping capacity utilisation was 0.83.
Economic Value Indicator Results
What was measured?
The economic value was assessed through three indicators, land based recreation, beach recreation and recreational fishing. The scores of these indicators were based on the data collected on the frequency of three types of recreational activities (ie., recreation based on mainland beaches, landbased recreation other than beach activities and boat-based recreational fishing). Land-based recreation other than beach activities included activities like walking, running, cycling, shorebased fishing, picnicking or just relaxing along the harbour shores.
Most information on the economic values of harbourbased recreational activities was collected through a community survey of 400 Gladstone residents conducted in August 2014.
Travel cost data were collected for the type of activity that respondents undertook most frequently.
Why was it measured?
These indicators were measured to assess economic value within the region and to establish a baseline for comparison with future assessments. In the longterm this will allow trends to be plotted over time to measure performance in relation to the GHHP vision that Gladstone has a healthy accessible working harbour.
The average number of recreational trips to Gladstone Harbour in 2013-’14 (including recreational fishing and trips to the beach, the harbour shoreline or out on the water) was approximately 33 trips/ household for each of the 22,841 households in Gladstone.
The average value of one of these trips was $104, giving a total value of recreational trips to Gladstone Harbour of $84 million in 2013-’14. This does not include trips to the harbour by people from outside the Gladstone region.
Land-based recreational activities such as walking, running or cycling along the harbour shores were undertaken by almost all respondents in 2013-‘14 (94%), with the most popular landbased activity being walking (83%). The relatively low trip value of land-based recreation led to it receiving an overall score of 0.75. In contrast, only 33% of people participated in boat-based recreational fishing, but the relatively high value of this activity still gave it a score of 0.66. Tannum Sands was the most popular beach visited by survey participants.