The changing demographics of Kennedy

We typically associate Cairns with the Federal electorate of Leichhardt. That is increasingly less so. The division of Kennedy has been intruding into the southern suburbs of Cairns for the last two redistributions because the population of Kennedy continues to decline relative to Leichhardt. Leichhardt is unique in only having a single boundary so there is only one way to balance numbers.

The most recent redistribution took out Bentley Park into Kennedy. The numbers as presented in the AEC determination based on electors at 6 January 2017:


This is SA2 so breaking this down by regional SA4: 60% of Kennedy electors are within Cairns SA4. 16% of Kennedy electors lived in the Cairns southern suburbs based on the new electoral boundaries. But wait there’s more!

The AEC projections there to 2021 look rather suspect. Since the last election ABS numbers indicate a population decline in Mt Isa and population increase in the Southern Suburbs which combined would indicate a total net relative shift in Kennedy including the Bentley Park annexation of 6-7 K electors to the Cairns suburbs from the outback.

Does this matter. Katter 2016 first preference by location for some larger booths:

Mt Isa 47%

Cloncurry 46%

Innisfail 40%

Atherton 39%

Mareeba 39%

Gordonvale 34%

Edmonton 34%

Mission Beach 27%*

Katter will be returned because everyone expects it and preference flows but he is not unassailable particularly as this trend continues with Cairns South the population growth centre of Kennedy. KAP candidates performed quite poorly in 2016 in both the neighbouring electorates of Leichhardt and Herbert.

*Mission Beach is included specifically for Pete Faulkner at Conus and is also the top Greens booth in Kennedy at 17%.



BITRE data update

BITRE airport data has been updated to January 2019:

BITRE 2019 1

You can go back and look at how much this has changed since my post last year Cruising just above stall speed.

Cairns is lagging in negative territory even before the shocking numbers for February and March, but poor Darwin. Proserpine is falling fast following the Cyclone Debbie wave and position in the top 20 is threatened. Who would have thought a few months ago that Karratha would now be in the middle of the list.

Route data from BITRE is more recent to February 2019:

BITRE 2019 2

Brisbane is a debacle at least until the Qantas capacity returns from March 31, Sydney has now rolled over slightly , Melbourne growth remains but with some questions on softer load factors in February.

Note: Sorry the series labelled Cairns should be Brisbane for the BNE-CNS route.

March quarter rental data

March quarter rental trends for Northern Queensland regional cities updated for the most recent bond data from the Residential Tenancies Authority:

Rentals march 3Rentals march 2Rentals march 1

A sharp jump in Townsville is almost certainly flood related which would have removed housing stock. The data is a median for the quarter with the flood at the beginning of February so may not fully reflect post flood rents. This will only reflect the median for new bonds lodged not the full stock of bonds where changes would be expected to lag. Something to watch in coming quarters.

This also closes the Cairns rent premium to the lowest margin in two years at $72.50 / week above Townsville for a three bedroom house. Cairns rents continue to rise slowly at around 2% p.a. roughly in line with CPI.

New bonds lodged during the quarter for 2 bedroom units in Cairns were down around 12% on the March quarter 2018 and 20% compared to March quarter 2017.  There is a similar trend in all categories of housing. Total rental bonds held by RTA for Cairns Regional Council at 31/3/2019 were 183 fewer than a year earlier.

Previous posts: Cairns rental bond dilemma; Moar rental bond stuff


Airport continues descent

The monthly numbers for March at Cairns Airport were as bad as expected.

Airport March 1Airport March 2Airport March 3Airport March 4

As flagged last month the March numbers are negatively impacted by lunar shifts in Easter and the new year. Again the best timely commentary on general market conditions comes from Sydney Airport which also did a data dump on Good Thursday for bad news.

International and Domestic passenger numbers declined 3.8% and 3.4% respectively on the prior corresponding period. As expected, International passenger numbers were impacted by a shift in timing of both Easter and Lunar New Year driving decreases in both seat capacity and load factors. However, strong load factors on North American routes helped boost US traveller growth to 11%. Domestically, the trends for March were similar to the year to date, where a decrease in frequencies, aircraft downgauging and subdued load factors drove a reduction in domestic passengers for the month.

There will be no excuses in April with the tailwinds into Cairns all positive from the later Easter shift and a scheduled domestic capacity increase from Qantas. After that the lunarcy events will be behind and we shouldn’t (?) see negative monthly domestic numbers of that size at Cairns Airport for the remainder of the year.





Townsville WTF are you doing?

I don’t know do you?

Townsville EGM Expliosion

Who could ever guess that the biggest statistical outcome from a disaster event in Townsville would be an explosion in pokie revenue, up 21% for the month on the previous March?

Note: The graph above is annual growth. March comparison numbers would be boosted by the early Easter in 2018 which would take out the Good Friday trading day for venues in that year and add maybe 3% to growth  rates for the month. This would only be a partial contribution to the numbers north of the Burdekin with Cairns also up 10.9% against 4.5% for all Queensland for the month compared to the previous year.