North Queensland has an economy that is affected by many seasonal
variations. These variations can be climatic such as an active cyclone
season affecting crops to political unrest in Europe affecting tourist
numbers in Cairns. In spite of this often uncertain economic climate
industry continues to grow and in some cases thrives.
typical yearly breakdown of the value of each of the major industry
sectors and their overall income per annum is:
Sugar cane is by far the largest cash crop in the North Queensland
although it is by no means the only crop. Bananas, mangos and tobacco
are all grown in large commercial quantities and the Atherton Tableland
(west of Cairns) is a large dairy producing region.
itself has a ship building industry that is dominated by one company
NQEA. They have developed a reputation as one of the leading ship
building companies in the world.
is a large retail industry in Cairns with over 1000 retail shops
in Cairns City Council shire. This is a turbulent industry that
has been affected by an oversupply and lack of demand for the past
five years. It is only now showing some signs of recovery.
is the base for a large fishing fleet, predominantly prawn fishing
for the Gulf of Carpentaria and Torres Strait. The port also services
freighters from around the world picking up various export produce
such as sugar and mineral ores.
Cairns will go through a development boom, which will see many large
projects, providing a cash injection into the economy. These can
be anything from building new hotels and resorts to extending the
runway at the International Airport.
still shows the greatest growth and potential for improvement in
the coming decade, especially following the publicity of the Olympic