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27 August, 2020

Council boosts the economy

The Cairns regional economy has been boosted by Council with over $340 million dollars spent locally over the past financial year.

By Peter McCullagh

The Florence Street upgrade featured the conversion of the intersection from a roundabout to a controlled intersection along with extensive streetscaping

With major infrastructure projects combined with a focus upon purchasing locally the Cairns Regional Council underpins the local economy by supporting 3600 jobs, $88 million is locally sourced good and services in addition to infrastructure spending of $143 million.

A report tabled at yesterday’s Council meeting revealed Council’s total expenditure for 2019/20 was $394 million, with 87 per cent spent locally.

“That’s $343 million directly invested in the Cairns region, creating jobs and improving infrastructure for residents,” Mayor Bob Manning said.

“This direct spending creates a ripple effect through links with other businesses and from employees spending money in Cairns, which injects an additional $449 million into the economy.

“When you combine Council’s expenditure and that additional spending, that equates to $792 million, representing about 4.8 per cent of the Cairns region’s Gross Regional Product.”

It is estimated that for every $1 million that Council spends it supports 10.6 jobs, that equates to 3,639 people being employed as a result of Council spending.

Of the remaining 13 per cent ($51 million) spent outside of Cairns, in 8 per cent of cases there was no local option, non-local suppliers were used for 3 per cent of that spend, and 2 per cent was attributed to government expenditure.

Overall, Council expenditure increased by $31 million, from $363 million in 2018-19 to $394 million in the 2019-20.

“This increase in expenditure has come at a time when many businesses in Cairns have been adversely impacted by the economic impacts associated with COVID-19,” Cr Manning said.

“Council will play a pivotal role in the recovery of our region from this crisis through the provision of economic stimulus.

“It was a focus on our Budget deliberations and one reason why we announced a record Capital Works program for 2020-21. 

“It demonstrates this Council’s commitment to creating an economic environment where business and industry can grow and prosper, which is a fundamental principle contained in Council’s Procurement Policy.”

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