Fraser Coast workers earn $10,000 below Brisbane average

WORKERS on the Fraser Coast are earning $10,000 less than their Brisbane counterparts.

New data from the Australian Tax Office reveals the median taxable income of Fraser Coast residents in the 2013-14 financial year was nearly $10,000 below Brisbane's median.

Should jobs pay the same regardless of location?

This poll ended on 24 May 2016.

Current Results

No, it shouldn't matter where you live, wages should be the same


Yes, it is just the way it is


I think it is fair as the cost of living is generally higher in bigger cities


I can see both sides


I'm not sure at this stage


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Tax office figures show the median taxable income in Brisbane was $45,633 compared to $35,492 in Hervey Bay and $37,300 in Maryborough, while it was $36,872 in Bundaberg, and $30,676 in Childers.

Our southern neighbours in Gympie did not fare well either - the median wage was $34,460 in Gympie and $29,018 in the Tin Can Bay area.

However, CQUniversity region economic development Professor John Rolfe said it was not a simple issue.

Prof Rolfe said differences in employment rates and employment structures all contributed to wage income discrepancies.

"Capital cities tend to have a lot more professional jobs and have a reliance on service sectors that pay higher incomes," he said.

"Regions tend to be more driven by agriculture and other primary sectors, which have lower rates of pay."

Prof Rolfe said it was important to note that a difference of income did not necessarily equate to standard of living.

"Standard of living can still be high in (regional areas) because your cost of living pressures are different to capital cities," he said.

"Where the regions struggle is that there aren't as many jobs."

Hervey Bay's Johnny Jacobsen doesn't think it is fair.

"When my son was living up here he earnt $29 an hour and when he moved to Melbourne he was on $65," he said. 

Naomi Pickard who lives in  Melbourne, said it's not equal rights.

"When I lived in New Castle I found my pay was lower compared to the city and it makes you feel devalued," she said while visiting family in Hervey Bay on Monday. 

To combat the wage discrepancy, Prof Rolfe said, regional cities could increase productivity in pre-existing industries, increase services and the quality of services and foster start-ups.

"Regions can do more to become incubators for start-ups," he said.

"Generally regional areas have lower start-up rates, which is a shame (because) it means innovators aren't coming."

Prof Rolfe said he would love to see state and federal governments support more services through the private sector as well as the public sector.

"They put more money into teaching and hospitals, which is more government jobs," he said.

"What I'd like to see is more money in these areas but given to small private firms.

"I think that would be a much faster way of stimulating regional economies."

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