Services sector vital for Queensland economic growth

The community services industry is one of the fastest growing and most dynamic sectors in Queensland, the Hon. Shannon Fentiman has told a CEDA audience in the Gold Coast.

The Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence discussed the opportunities the services sector is bringing to Queensland. 

“The industry has a vital role to play in economic growth and social prosperity,” she said.

“In 2011, the community services industry provided more than 80 per cent of Queensland’s overall employment growth.

“Today, 45,000 Queenslanders work in the community services industry. 

“The industry contributes around $3.5 billion to the Queensland economy every year.

“This is expected to multiply in line with projected growth for the industry to $6.3 billion by 2025.

“By 2025 we predict there will be at least 30,000 new jobs in our community and health services industry.

“The projected employment growth for the community services industry well surpasses growth in other sectors like mining, manufacturing, retail and construction.

“This transformation positions the industry to make a real and positive difference to the growing number of Queenslanders experiencing disadvantage.

“Social disadvantage, put bluntly, is economically unviable.

“It leads to lower productivity and economic growth and requires large amounts of taxpayers’ money to fund services and programs to overcome it.

“The economic impact of domestic and family violence, for example, costs the Queensland economy $3.2 billion each year.
“Child abuse and neglect costs us more than $800 million each year.”

Ms Fentiman also discussed how technology is presenting opportunities to deliver services innovatively to help lift people out of disadvantage.

“Although it’s difficult to forecast what the jobs of the future will be, we know technological innovation will help us to meet the needs and aspirations of those requiring services,” she said.

“New technology and change driven by digital disruption will vastly improve the way services are delivered, particularly in Queensland, where one of our biggest challenges is accessing remote communities.

“It also opens up endless opportunities for a future workforce trained in ICT, digital simulation and even artificial intelligence.”

Also speaking at the event was ANZ, Acting Chief Economist, Richard Yetsenga who said technology should be viewed as an opportunity as the economy continues to transition.

“Technology is one of those things we can fear but actually for labour with the right skills, technology can be a very substantial advantage,” he said.

“(For example) as the mining sector has found things more difficult there’s a lot of expertise around automation and technology. 

“Rather than us using all that domestically we can now offer services to countries like Indonesia where we remote monitor developments in the mining sector.”