Gladstone workers top the rich list just behind Mackay

GLADSTONE residents are rocketing up the rich list, earning one of the highest average salaries in Queensland.

But we've come in behind Mackay, according to Australian Taxation Office figures for 2010/11.

Residents in the Gladstone 4680 postcode earned an average $57,850 before tax in that year - just shy of Mackay's $58,390 average.

For our hard work, Gladstonites paid an average $12,892 tax.

There's a silver lining though - we're leaving Rockhampton residents in our dust. Locals there netted just $49,182 before tax in the same year.

Just 10 years ago, the average taxable income was just $38,273, with just 17,497 taxpayers.

By 2010/11, we had 29,690 people helping prop up the national economy.

And the only way is up from here, according to H&R Block Gladstone accountant Vinny Sanders.

"There's more and more workers coming, on fairly hefty salaries - and as long as there are options to spend locally, the money will stay in Gladstone," he said.

Mr Sanders said the year-on-year increase in average salary had probably accelerated to $4000 in recent years.

"In the past two years it's accelerated fast - it might be in mid-60s by now," he said.

H&R Block currently offers free tax advice for workers, and said changes in the Federal Budget would make returns more complicated.

He said it was rare to see a million-dollar tax return in town, but very high wages certainly exist in Gladstone.

"One bloke walked in to the office last year, he had a gross income of $900,000 and he thought he'd better get his tax sorted.

"His tax bill was more than Julia Gillard's annual salary."