Track changes

Understand challenges

Consider opportunities

Welcome to the UQ 'Indicators' Annual Report Website

Helping Queensland communities to make the most of 'the new normal'
accompanying natural gas development

We have employed internationally recognised leading practices to monitor changes in the Queensland gasfield regions.  We have assessed trends from 2001 to 2016 using interviews and statistical data on key indicators.  These indicators include population, housing costs, incomes, unemployment, and crime rates.  This information has helped to identify cause and effect, providing an understanding of each town that we studied and an understanding of the region as a system.  These understandings are essential to making decisions aimed at improving each community's and the region's future.  

Annual Report: Data updates and Analysis  

This website was launched in 2016 with data and analysis now being updated in the first half of 2017.  The site covers trends in key indicators to the end of 2016.  There is capacity for updates in 2017 and into the future.  Each year's 'Annual Report' contains an overview of the status of towns and regions studied (Executive summary) - that is, which way are trends in population, income, housing costs, etc., currently heading.  There is also a focus article (Opportunities and challenges).  For the Annual Report published in 2016, that article was on housing costs, the timing of construction, and associated migration during the period of coal seam gas development.  For the 2017 Annual Report, ongoing business activity will be assessed in one feature article for this site, and increases in crime rates will be assessed in a second article.    

Toolkit: Methods

How the Annual Report was assembled, and what can be done with the results, are illustrated in the UQ Boomtown Toolkit.  The UQ Toolkit was designed to enable collaboration among local government, community, business, and industry.

Cumulative Impacts study: Changes in the Western Downs

The Toolkit grew out of a focused study of cumulative social and economic impacts accompanying coal seam gas development in the Western Downs local government area.  Insights from that report - Cumulative Socioeconomic Impacts of Coal Seam Gas Development in the Western Downs, Queensland - have been presented to industry, government and community numerous times over the past two years.  Key 'big picture' findings relate to expectations, diversity, and movement/migration.  

Town data booklets: Detail information on each town

This website is augmented by town data booklets on Dalby, Chinchilla, Miles, Wandoan, Roma, Wallumbilla, Toowoomba, Moranbah, and Dysart.  Each 30-page booklet contains trend data on the town for 2001-2015 (soon to be updated with 2016 data) on indicators - population, unemployment, income, housing costs, and crime rates.  Each booklet also contains insights from interviews of key stakeholders - mayor, police, school principal, manager of the community centre, head of the chamber of commerce, knowledgeable real estate agent, experienced pub owner, etc.  We have done additional interviews in 2016 and 2017 to update insights from earlier interviews.  Methods employed to assemble the town data booklets are described in the Toolkit.  The booklets are summarised on this site with complete booklets downloadable as PDFs.  The town data booklets are available from the 'Data Updates' page, which can be reached from the 'Annual Reports' page.   

Features of this site
  • Head to 'Compare Towns' to chart and compare data on different towns.  
  • Head to 'Annual Reports' for a feature article on housing.  

There is also a summary on each town profiled accompanied by details in downloadable 'town data booklets'.  This work addresses the Queensland local government areas of Western Downs, Maranoa, Toowoomba, and Isaac.  

Further insight: Articles & presentations

Detailed analysis, beyond what is contained here, that addresses particular issues - e.g., housing, migration, business development - will be available through peer-reviewed, academic journal articles.  Such articles typically take 1-2 years to be reviewed and published.  They will be cited on this website as they emerge.  The research team are also happy to provide presentations and advice on specifics related to their research findings.  For example, we provide updates for the Gasfields Commission Queensland and provided input for local, state, and federal governments as well as ongoing reports for the gas industry, farming industry, and relevant professional organisations.  

Reports from other UQ studies of gasfield communities are also being made available here.  The UQ business school study of factors contributing to resilience and good performance in small- to medium- sized enterprises is available here:  UQ Business School SME Resilience Study: Report.  A summary of findings can be seen here, in The Conversation.  An overview of the study is here.  

Studies by other researchers, such as in the Gasfield Social Scientists network, are revealing.  A bibliography of such studies has been compiled and updated by UQ PhD candidate, Liz Hardie.  That bibliography can be downloaded here.  

For communities facing change

This Annual Report, the Cumulative Socioeconomic Impacts study, the town data booklets, and the UQ Toolkit are meant to aid the Queensland gasfield regions.  They can also provide insight for any community or region in the middle of a resource boom, at the end of a boom, or expecting big changes, such as in water availability or infrastructure.   This data and insights provided here - and the UQ Toolkit - should be employed to plan the next steps to realise long-term benefits … 

Research team

The research findings provided here were gathered by a team from the University of Queensland's Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining.  The research was funded by UQ's Centre for Coal Seam Gas, whose members are QGC/Shell, Santos, Arrow Energy, APLNG and UQ.