Greetings from Gayleen

– October 2020

I had the opportunity to meet the FNQ nominated candidates for the State election at the recent Chamber hosted debate.  I have to say, that all the candidates were quite respectful of each other, spoke well  and that it was a good debate overall.  All the candidates are passionate about the region and doing a good job. There were lots of promises to stimulate our economy and to invest in infrastructure across all regional Queensland. Border closures of course were discussed, and opinion is divided on the effectiveness of the border closures health benefits and the low numbers of infections versus the terrible economic cost.

It is great to see Victoria’s reduction in COVID and the easing of restrictions in that State. We are hoping that our borders will open with care and any required restrictions soon, so that we can get our economy moving again.

Our unemployment remains high with many underemployed with part-time and reduced hours still being prevalent throughout the regions.  There are some good employment opportunities presenting in a variety of sectors which is a very promising sign.  We have noticed an increase in recruitment activity over recent weeks.

Our tourism and hospitality sectors have enjoyed a busy school holiday period and are being well supported by locals. Opening of State borders will be the key to the next stage in business/employment activity.  Opening up is critical for our economy given the reduction in support from government, banks and other institutions including Jobkeeper, Jobseeker, tax relief, grants and other assistance. Unfortunately, it appears international borders will be closed for some time yet.

At Precruitment we have taken advantage of the opportunity to upgrade our technology. Always a big job and our admin team and external suppliers have done great work with a smooth transition. It is amazing how quickly technology advances  in a very short time frame. With the upgrades we see benefits to our operations with the new tools to assist our customers with continued service improvements.

I enjoyed  a weeks’ leave this month with a visit from my son and his partner. Most excitedly, they announced their engagement after a trip to the reef. We enjoyed being on holidays locally with lots of eating out, a visit to the Daintree and Port Douglas, a river cruise and reef trip as well as  celebrations for Colins birthday. We saw big saltwater crocodiles, a green tree snake and many different birds and fish on our adventures. We are very lucky to live in such a beautiful environment and to see wonderful wildlife in their natural habitat.

Good luck to all the candidates in the upcoming election, whoever gets voted in, let’s hope that they are great advocates of the regions and fulfill all their promises. It will also be interesting to see the results of the US elections and the subsequent effects on the Australian and world economy.