No state in Australia has benefited from the pandemic as much Australia’s Sunshine State.
Queenslands’ annual net interstate migration for the Sunshine State is at its highest level in almost 20 years.
Although overseas migration has fallen considerably after international borders were mostly closed in early 2020, lockdowns in NSW and Victoria took their toll on many southerners, causing a migration to warmer climates and a relatively COVID-free existence.
Net interstate migration to Queensland in the year to June 2021 (with the most recent data available) reached 30,939.
This is the largest annual increase since the 35,498 in 2004. A net figure of 9728 in the December quarter of 2020 was the highest rise on a quarterly basis since December 2003.
The highest annual figure for net interstate migration was 49,162 in 1993, when hordes of Victorians moved north during the Kennett government’s large public service cuts.
Extended lockdowns in NSW and Victoria over the past two years of the coronavirus pandemic have been cited anecdotally as the reason for southerners packing up and moving north of the Tweed.
Queensland secured more than 90 per cent of net interstate migration in the year to June 2021.
The net 30,939 people who moved to Queensland decreased in all other states and territories, with the nearest rival being Western Australia which also had its borders closed for most of the pandemic, followed by the ACT and South Australia
Queensland’s estimated population growth of 1 per cent for 2021-22 is expected to rise to 1.25 per cent in 2022-23, according to the mid-year budget update released in December.
The influx of migrants is helping to fuel Queensland’s economy, which is expected to grow by 3.25 per cent this financial year, up from the 2.75 per cent predicted in last June’s budget.
The Queensland Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s policy and advocacy general manager, Amanda Rohan, said the new interstate migrants ‘were also heading to regional areas, not just the heavily populated south-east corner, spreading the economic benefits’.