Life is great in the Sunshine State, but...


DISAPPOINTED Queenslanders feel they have missed out on the fruits of a quarter of a century of economic growth, believing the major benefits have flowed to big businesses, their bosses and foreign investors.

An exclusive report into attitudes, released today, also reveals workers here are less satisfied with their pay, conditions and job training than those in other states.

But they are happier with the time spent travelling to and from work and most are satisfied with the flexibility to take personal leave and holidays.

The Committee for Economic Development of Australia report Community Pulse 2018: The Economic Disconnect highlights high-quality health and aged-care services, increased pensions, tough laws and sentences, and strong protection for national parks and oceans among top concerns.

"Despite 27 years of uninterrupted economic growth, many Australians are telling us through this survey that they don't feel like they are getting ahead - and that feeling is stronger in Queensland," CEDA chief executive Melinda Cilento said.

Only one in 20 people in the Sunshine State felt they, or people like them, had gained a lot from the nation's unmatched growth. Less than half said they had even a little.


In comparison, the poll showed three-quarters of Queenslanders believed senior executives were the big winners, along with large corporations (71 per cent) and foreign shareholders (51 per cent).

"Unemployment and youth unemployment are both higher in Queensland than nationally and slightly higher again in regional areas," Ms Cilento said.

"This is no doubt one of the factors impacting on how Queenslanders feel about the economy and their current circumstances.

"Stagnant wages and cost of living pressures are likely factors but regardless, we need to do better at connecting communities' expectations and aspirations with economic benefits."

Mother-of-two Sharon de Kleijn, of Carseldine in Brisbane's north, said she and husband Daniel hadn't see much of the economic growth.

"We're not super low income so we don't receive any benefits from Centrelink, but we don't see any money that big business receives from the government though injections and tax breaks," she said.

Mrs de Kleijn, who is self-employed, said there was little incentive for her to go back to longer working hours, with childcare costs and a lack of opportunity outweighing the benefits.

The poll showed only 46 per cent of Queenslanders were satisfied with their current pay level, compared to 53 per cent nationally.

But they were much more likely to rate opportunities for career progression as very important.

The de Kleijn family of Brisbane - Sharon, Daniel, Isaiah and Lily - don’t feel they have benefited from Queensland’s boom times. Picture: Sarah Marshall/AAP
The de Kleijn family of Brisbane - Sharon, Daniel, Isaiah and Lily - don’t feel they have benefited from Queensland’s boom times. Picture: Sarah Marshall/AAP

Over 70 per cent would welcome new technology in their job, while 13 per cent were worried they would not have the skills to use it.

Nearly three-quarters of Queenslanders drive to work, and two-thirds said they were satisfied with their commuting time.

More jobs overall, and more permanent positions top reduce work insecurity, topped the employment wish list.

Personal issues of most importance to people living in the Sunshine State were reliable, low-cost health services, stable and affordable housing, reduced violence, job security, strong government support for regional development and affordable high quality mental health services.

National issues rating highly included quality public hospitals, strong regulation to limit foreign ownership of land and assets, quality public schools, support for renewable energy, strong anti-terrorism security, reducing personal tax and lower immigration.

Of least importance were a strong private school system, lower company taxes, private hospitals and increased refugees intake.

"Much like other states, the expectation that government should provide the services fundamental to the quality of life in Australia remains strong," Ms Cilento said.