A leading provider of :


Specialising in northern and regional Australia


Features of this website include :




Some Recent Studies

Research projects during 2014-15-16-17 included:




Handshakes »

The Cairns Chamber of Commerce is one of the leading business organisations in Cairns, established for over 100 years and a representative of the local business community.

Advance Cairns is the peak coordination agency for economic development in TNQ. Our vision is to develop a vibrant and sustainable regional economy that promotes and facilitates diverse employment, growth, social and lifestyle opportunities.

You may recognise Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) as a world famous tourism destination in Australia, but here at Think TNQ you will also learn what it has to offer in terms of opportunities for business, investment and lifestyle.

TTNQ is the peak regional visitor destination marketing organisation for Tropical North Queensland, Cairns & Great Barrier Reef.

Regional Development Australia (RDA) is an Australian Government initiative that brings together all levels of government to enhance the growth and development of Australia's regions. A national network of RDA committees has been established to achieve this objective.

One of the world's leading institutions focusing on the tropics, Australia's James Cook University is surrounded by the spectacular ecosystems of the rainforests of the Wet tropics, the dry savannahs, and the iconic Great Barrier Reef. Our unique location enables students from Australia and overseas to study in a diverse physical environment unparalleled by any university in the world.

Ports North has played a significant role in the growth and development of the region over the past 100 years. It has been managing the operations of the Port of Cairns since 1906, Ports North is committed to the community and our environment.

The Cairns Airport is Australia’s leading regional airport, providing air links to a range of domestic and international locations.

The Mareeba Chamber of Commerce is committed to business and community interests in Mareeba and surrounding districts. We provide a wide range of services to business including scheduling and co-ordination of a number of opportunities and events.

The Hinchinbrook Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Inc. aspires to be the communities' finest public leader within its market place. Dedicated to serving the business sector, with accessible information to changes or developments happening around us.

The RAI is Australia’s first national, apolitical, independent think tank devoted exclusively to regional issues. Our job is to conduct research into priority policy areas for regional Australia.

Cairns and PNG are ideally positioned to be trade partners. Economic, social and cultural links are strong, and the respective Chambers of Commerce work cooperatively and productively.

Links »

> Australian Bureau of Statistics
> Australian Market and Social Research Society
> The Economic Society of Australia
> Regional Science Association Australia and New Zealand Section Inc.


Publications »

Cairns Chamber of Commerce Yearbook 2014

Cairns Chamber of Commerce
Yearbook 2014



SOME INFORMATION RELEASES »

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July, 2017
The New Wave : Keeping it Rolling
Trends & Prospects for the Cairns / Tropical North QLD Regional Economy


Bill Cummings presented his annual review of the economy to the Cairns Chamber of Commerce on 28th July 2017.

1.5mb (pdf presentation) 149kb (pdf text) RefJ2992



March, 2017
Statistical Note: Population Growth 2015-16

The Cairns/Peninsula Australia (Tropical North Queensland) region continued a long-term trend of leading the way in regional population growth across the North and in regional Queensland outside the southeast corner.

280kb (pdf note) Ref:J3071


March, 2017
Statistical Note: Level of Government building approvals major Northern Australian Regions

Illustrates the extremely low level of comparative Government Building Approvals in the Cairns Region over the past 5 years.

208kb (pdf note) Ref:J3080


March, 2017
Newspaper readership

Gives latest data on newspaper readership of major regional dailies indicating that the Cairns Post is right up there with Canberra, Townsville and ahead of Geelong & Sunshine Coast papers.

250kb (pdf note) Ref:J3081



February, 2017
"Learning the Economic Lessons of the Past 10 Years"




Address to the Cairns Forum for Business Growth (F4BG) outlining how the Cairns Economy has been heavily influenced and damaged by decisions at national and state level affecting fiscal and monetary policy, the Australian dollar and government spending levels in the region.

1.5mb (pdf presentation) 135kb (pdf text) RefJ3059



January, 2017
Statistical Note: Job Seeker Numbers

Analysis of latest job seeker numbers indicates that unemployment in the Cairns Region has peeked and is moving back down again, but has been continuing to rise in the Mackay and Rockhampton regions.

938kb (pdf note) Ref:J3032



November, 2016
A Review of the Cairns Economy provided to Cairns Chamber of Commerce



295kb (pdf text) RefJ3028


September, 2016
Presentation on the Cairns Economy


W S (Bill) Cummings presented a review of the Cairns Economy to the Cairns Professional Accountants Association.

2.12mb (pdf presentation) 146kb (pdf text) RefJ3015


August, 2016
Cairns and Ageing

The following is a comment provided to the Cairns Sun.

28kb (pdf note) Ref:J3001



July, 2016
Achieving "Lift Off"
Trends & Prospects for the Cairns / Tropical North QLD Economy


Bill Cummings presented his annual review of the economy to the Cairns Chamber of Commerce on 26th July 2016.

2mb (pdf presentation) 149kb (pdf text) RefJ2992




June, 2016
Statistical Note - Queensland Budget

This note analyses the Queensland budget capital expenditure by regions (Statistical Area Level 4). It indicates that again the Cairns region had the lowest per capita spending outside of Greater Brisbane area and that, far from being a budget for regional Queensland, the increase in 2016-17 on 2015-16 was 12.9% for Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast compared with regional Queensland 4.5%.

547kb (pdf note) Ref:J2909


April, 2016
Information Note:  Importance and Chinese Tourism and Cruise Ship Hub

Information note Comment for Cairns Post

28kb (pdf note) Ref:J2969


March, 2016
Residential Population Growth - Cairns / Tropical North Region Continues to Lead in the North.

2014-15 was a poor year for growth in regional Queensland outside the South East corner. However the Cairns region continued to consolidate its position as the fastest growing and most populous in the North with the wider Cairns/Tropical North Queensland region including Cairns City, the immediate region and the Peninsula, Torres and Gulf areas increasing by 2,329 to 282,790.

Census 2016 is likely to see 'on-the-ground' population in the Tropical North Queensland region including visitors pass the 300,000 mark.

224kb (pdf note) Ref:J2971


January, 2016
Statistical Note: Cairns long-term population statistics 1891-2011.

An update of one prepared earlier that now brings the data up to 2011 (based on the last census count).

315kb (pdf note) Ref:J2950


November, 2015
Statistical Note - 2015/16 Queensland Budget and the Cairns Region.

Identified that the Cairns region received the lowest per capita budget allocated for capital works in regional Queensland and has suffered the biggest decline in allocations over the past four years.

398kb (pdf note) Ref:J2909


November, 2015
Statistical Note - Queensland Population Growth Coastal Regional Cities and Immediate Hinterlands.

This research looks at growth in population 1991-2014 Queensland Statistical Regions Level 4 of Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Fitzroy and Wide Bay and contrasts the pattern with Queensland Infrastructure Plan forward projections.

231kb (pdf note) Ref:J2926


November, 2015
Douglas Shire in Tourism Development in Tropical North Queensland.

Bill Cummings presented an address to the 2015 Douglas Business Forum on Thursday the 12th November 2015 on the vital role of Douglas Shire in the development of tourism in tropical North Queensland

1.6mb (pdf presentation) 142kb (pdf text) RefJ2919


Recent Key Information Releases Archive ...