Diversifying the Cairns economy
The Cairns Region is located in Far North Queensland, about 1,700 kilometres north of Brisbane. The Council subscribes to .id's online community profile - profile.id, social atlas - atlas.id, population forecasts - forecast.id and economic profile - economy.id. They are available to the community via their website.
Back in September 2009, it was revealed that Far North Queensland had the highest unemployment rate in the country. The Cairns Regional Council decided to act and immediately established an Economic Development Unit to identify the issues and work on generating programs to grow the economy.
“We needed to understand our economy better” said Katrina Houghton, Economic Development Officer for the Cairns Regional Council.
“We initially looked at just getting an annual economic snapshot done, but then we found economy.id and realised that it would provide a much more up to date, easy to use and interactive solution compared to a static document”.Katrina Houghton, Economic Development Officer Cairns Regional Council
In May 2010 the Council purchased the economy.id product, and began to use it.
“We could see straight away the contribution each industry makes to our economy” Katrina continued. “We could see, for example, that tourism is very important for employment, but other industries like property and business services, and manufacturing, were even more important contributors in terms of overall output.
By understanding the structure, we now know we need to diversify the economy, by encouraging investment and building capacity across a range of industries.
We have a relatively highly skilled population, and our migration age profile is on average, younger than other parts of Queensland. Coupled with the great lifestyle on offer, and a very innovative mindset, Cairns presents a fantastic opportunity for growth.”
This Council focus on diversification has led to the development of the Tropical Innovation Awards, in order to foster the creativity of the region. The awards were launched earlier this year by the Hon Kevin Rudd MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Economy.id also forms the backbone of many presentations delivered by the Cairns Economic Development Unit.
“We use it to deliver presentations to investors, tradeshows, our monthly business breakfasts, State Government, and our many overseas delegations” Katrina said.
Katrina Houghton, Economic Development Officer Cairns Regional Council
“economy.id saves us so much time because we know the data is current, presented in an easy to understand way and we don't have to worry about the sources – we know they will be relevant and up to date."
It has certainly raised the profile of the council in terms of economic development“ she concluded.
” People are surprised at the amount of information and advice we can provide”.
Which product did they use?
Cairns Regional Council used economy.id for this analysis.