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Jobs at Seek: Cairns and Far North

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Reef results FY2017

There is actually quite a lot in here for comment: Global Tourism Hub proposal; changes in control of significant owner Casinos Austria; local pokie competition and extension of trading hours; tourism debacle in the first half of 2017 never really resolved with finger pointing all round; and a few more ……

Reef Casino FY2017

Let me come back to it.


Perspectives on Employment

Two employment related posts on the latest Centrelink data:

Job Seeker data shows little change for Cairns

Disproportionate numbers of Newstart/Youth Allowance recipients in Far North Qld, Wide Bay-Burnett & Logan

Meanwhile, over at the somewhat retro website of Cummings Economics there are two posted PDF notes from Bill which take aim at the regional ABS statistics based on census data:


The ABS has also just posted some information on characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians: Census reveals jump in young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people working or studying:

Fifty two per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 to 24 years are fully participating in either education or work, up from 46 per cent in 2006. Those living in urban areas (55 per cent) are more likely to be fully engaged in work or study than those living in non-urban areas (42 per cent).

I think I would call that a step rather than a jump. Indigenous disadvantage remains the most critical challenge for the Far North.

Nova City Flurry

Aspial, Singaporean developer of the Nova City project in Cairns spun off their Malaysian and Australian interests on The Singapore second board last year as World Class Global.

WCG half year report as at June 30 2017:


WCG quarterly report as at September 30 2017:


Marketing email for Nova City received today from Irene at World Class Global:

I hope that you have had a wonderful break and ready for all the exciting things this new year will bring!

The most exciting thing of course, will be to see Nova City coming out of the ground. Construction is starting with pilings, the beginning of April!
We had a flurry of buying just prior to Christmas which saw some of our best two bedroom apartments sell to some local Cairns buyers so we recommend that if you are looking to purchase one of our apartments, that you beat the rush and secure your preferred apartment now. We only have 5 one bedroom apartments left and limited floors available on the front overlooking the CBD skyline and out to the Coral Sea.

WCG full year report as at December 31 2017:


That’s some flurry. There have been reports of construction tenders with construction to commence soon to qualify for council discounts on headworks charges. The most recent numbers above are from the full year report lodged with Singapore Stock Exchange last week with the only commentary on Nova progress:

In the next twelve months, the Group will continue with the sale of Nova City project and intends to launch Albert Street project in Brisbane, Australia, subject to market conditions in Brisbane then.

While there is commentary on construction progress of the Melbourne properties there is no mention of construction commencement at Nova which seems remiss given marketing and media reports. Nova has yet to appear in the ABS building approvals with most recent data to December.


Gaming January

The metered Queensland pokie win (player loss) in January was up 4.75% on the previous year. However, while approved machine numbers increased, operational numbers declined so win (loss) per machine was up 6.0%. The divide between clubs and hotels continues:

Gaming January 1

While growth in Townsville was in line with the state at 4.8% Cairns excelled with 11% growth across council area venues in January and 10.7% for the broader Cairns SA4.

Gaming January 2

The only detailed SA2 data is for Cairns City as OLGR don’t publish numbers where there are limited venues. Somewhat lame IMHO. Growth here is well into double digits in recent months.

Gaming January 3

The divergence there from December 2016 follows closure of the Courthouse Hotel with 35 machines. These are current Cairns City SA2 pokie sites:

Gaming sites by Statistical Area 2 (CAIRNS CITY)
Site Name Approved EGMs
Total sites: 9 357

The January numbers report 267 operational machines in Cairns City SA2 compared to 357 approved. OLGR numbers are ex-casino with Reef licenced for about 500 machines.

Experience Results 1H2018

With reporting season in full swing the highly acquisitive Experience Co has also reported results this week. The interest here is in the stakes acquired in recent times in prominent Cairns based tourism businesses. Commentary from Experience:

Raging Thunder  • 6-month contribution to 1H18 results • Financials in line with management expectations • PAX numbers up 5.7% YOY • Raging Thunder Marine now being managed by Reef Magic Cruises, with Reef Magic engineering department now responsible for maintenance of Raging Thunder marine assets

Reef Magic Cruises  • 6-month contribution to 1H18 results • Financials in line with management expectations • PAX numbers in marine as a whole increased by 1% YOY • Reef Magic now operates out of Experience Co Headquarters in Cairns, having moved out of previous lease arrangements

Great Barrier Reef Helicopters  • 2-month contribution to 1H18 results • Financials in line with management expectations • PAX numbers increased 9.8% YOY

Big Cat Green Island Cruises • 18 day contribution to 1H18 results

Tropical Journeys  • 12 day contribution to 1H18 results

Previous Posts: An eye on Experience ; Experience on Watch



Mantra Results 1H2018

Mantra Group results for 1H2018 released today. Overall the group result was rather flat to be kind but commentary is usually of interest because of the significant hotel resort accommodation presence in TNQ.

Mantra.pngRevPAR = revenue per available room

Most interest in Mantra though is on progress of the takeover by Accor which seems to have lagged a month or two behind the initially indicated schedule. Mantra have indicated the arrangement is on track for completion within FY2018. This remains subject to FIRB and ACCC approval with the following commentary from Mantra.

AccorHotels has been actively engaging with the ACCC, including responding to information requests, and believes the approval process remains on track. AccorHotels remains confident of obtaining approval.

As previously posted the combined group would have a very strong presence in TNQ and particularly in locations such as Palm Cove with five of the prime Williams Esplanade properties: Corporate action in accommodation

The secular decline of Mt Isa

There is a good post over at Queensland Economy Watch on regional airfares: Why is it so? Regional Qld airfares 2-3 times higher than in the city – guest post by Craig Wilson

Figure 2: Index of domestic passengers, 1985-86 to 2016-17

Following positive commentary from Cairns Airport on regional routes I have also recently looked at the same BITRE data set indexed here:

Secular decline of Mt Isa

Hmm. I could also turn this into a post on the dangers of locking an index to a starting point on a linear scale.  I could also note that around 10% of airport traffic into the remote North West mining province of Queensland is now recorded through Cloncurry combined with Mt Isa up from zero for a few years following the index benchmark date.

Then came January

Cairns Aero rainfall for January has demolished the monthly average:

Rain Jan 1

In a way this feels a bit strange as it doesn’t really feel like a severe wet season with hesitant monsoonal systems in the Coral Sea. This has also returned the moving annual rainfall back to average for Cairns Aero which has been rare in recent years:

Rain Jan 2

Not sure how widely reflective this is though. The BOM changed their Water Storage info presentation on the website last year and aspects of this still annoy me. The most recently posted data up the hill for Tinaroo is only to January 20 at just 35.9% of capacity.

Update: Tinaroo has now been updated to 30 January at 37.9%

Tinaroo Water Information; Weekly Tropical Climate Note