Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Bill Tipped to Top 1991's; Expert Says City Must Look Forward and Make Changes

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Bill Tipped to Top 1991's; Expert Says City Must Look Forward and Make Changes

Article excerpt

Byline: Adam Wratten adam.wratten@capnews.com.au

Costly disaster

The damage bill from Rockhampton's 1991 flood was reportedly $50million, close to $80million in today's money;

An economics expert predicts the bill this time will be much higher;

Rockhampton's leaders urged to reassure business community floods won't have an impact on them in the future.

AN economics expert has heaped praise on Rockhampton's emergency service groups, the council and State Government for their response to the city's flood.

CQUniversity's professor in regional development economics, John Rolfe, said Rockhampton people were fortunate to have such high quality organisations and community leaders.

Professor Rolfe has warned the economic impact of the floods would be amuch highera than in 1991, when the flood reportedly left a damage bill of $50million or close to $80million in today's money.

aThe size of the economy in the Rockhampton LGA, including housing, is about $4.5billion per annum, so even a 1% economic slowdown from the floods would have an impact of $45million,a he said.

aWhen all the production losses, damage and co-ordination costs are considered as well, I think the costs this time will be much higher than in 1991.

aThis time there have been major losses in the agricultural and mining sectors, and the long period of wet weather and floods have limited a lot of spending from the mining sector.

aAs a result, the slowdown is impacting on the regional economy. While expenditure through the business sector is likely to start increasing, I expect that consumer expenditure will be softer for most of 2011 as a result.a

He said the region was fortunate that prospects in the resources sector were buoyant and many agricultural commodities enjoyed stable if not higher prices. …

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