REVEALED: Exactly when the LNG boom ran out of gas
INCOME figures for 2015-16 released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics this month have pinpointed the exact moment which spelled the beginning of the end for Gladstone's LNG construction boom.
The data shows workers living in Clinton and New Auckland again earned the highest median total incomes in the region over that financial year, at $64,432 (including earnings from wages, investments, superannuation and unincorporated businesses).
But it was a significant drop for workers living in those suburbs, who in 2014-15 earned a median total income of $71,733, the highest figures in the state.
In 2015-16, they were overtaken by regional resources centres including Moranbah ($79,881) and Mount Isa ($69,419), as well as inner-city Brisbane suburbs such as Bulimba ($70,485) and Wilston ($69,392).
The numbers confirm 2015-16 as the year the downturn began to hit home in Gladstone, with the overall median total income dipping to $57,890 - still well above Central Queensland's median of $51,846, but down significantly from the previous year's $63,950.
The figures also bear out a prediction from the Gladstone Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Lyndal Hansen, who last year told The Observer the drop would be apparent in the new data given the 2014-15 financial year was "right on the cusp" of the downturn.
Because the figures were compiled by the Australian Taxation Office, the Bureau noted some low income earners may not have been included if they did not submit a tax return.
Median total income for 2015-16:
- Agnes Water - Miriam Vale: $34,764
- Boyne Island - Tannum Sands: $64,188
- Clinton - New Auckland: $64,432
- Gladstone Central: $57,113
- Kin Kora - Sun Valley: $59,634
- Telina - Toolooa: $63,008
- West Gladstone: $54,328