Release of first regional Cost of Living report

With three quarters of Queensland’s population living outside of Brisbane and almost one quarter of Queensland’s population living in regional and remote areas outside of South-East Queensland it is important to understand the cost of living pressures faced in these areas.

This Cost of Living Report highlights differences in the cost of living in six regional centres across Queensland – Brisbane, Gold Coast, Cairns, Mount Isa, Rockhampton and Kingaroy. The report highlights how difficult it can be for some low-income households to meet a basic standard of living, simply because of where they live.

This report highlights a number of key findings with regards to the capacity of low-income households to meet a basic standard of living:

Housing costs are the single biggest contributor to changes in the cost of living across the six regional centres.

A single unemployed person does not have enough income to meet a basic standard of living in each of the six regional centres, despite facing lower living costs in areas such as Kingaroy, Cairns and Rockhampton.

Of the six regional centres, Mount Isa was the most expensive place to live with extremely high housing costs compounded by extra costs imposed by a lack of public transport infrastructure.

While regional centres such as Kingaroy, Cairns and Rockhampton were found to be the cheapest of the six regional centres to live, higher unemployment in these areas means that households in these areas would be more likely to rely on government allowances and payments.

Single-parent households who are unemployed or forced onto Newstart Allowance due to eligibility changes would not have enough income to meet a basic standard of living in any of the six regional centres – putting at risk the future prospects of children in these households.

Read the report here.

People wanting to donate to those in need this Christmas can do so by visiting any number of community service organisations including Wesley Mission Brisbane.