Star Cummings Compass Research Contact

Leading the Way

Cummings Economics was established in 1981 by W S (Bill) & J G Cummings (see key personnel) to provide professional economic research and analysis of the economy, especially in relation to northern and regional Australia (see background & services). Compass Research was established as the market research arm of Cummings Economics.

Over the years, the firm has played and continues to play a major role in supporting the progress of businesses, industries, organisations and government bodies through perceptive professional, successful research.

Supporting Progress

With sound benefit cost economic impact analysis to support funding decisions.

Economic Impact & Benefit Cost Analysis

Economic Impact Advice

Information Releases

Information Releases Archive

Much of our work for clients is confidential. However, Cummings Economics have a policy, in the interests of promoting progress, of placing on this website, reports and analysis that have entered the public arena.

01 Sep 2020 Research & Statistical Note CE Ref J3324.186

JULY 2020 - Economic Impact of COVID-19 Restrictions

Gives information that JobSeeker unemployment numbers continued to come down in July but only marginally. Single Touch Payroll series has been continuing to recover slowly to be down only about 5% on the commencement of the series in mid-March.

Statistical Note

23 Jul 2020 Research & Statistical Note CE Ref J3324.184

JUNE 2020 - Economic Impact of COVID-19 Restrictions Revised

Gives information that JobSeeker unemployment numbers plateaued in June and came down slightly in the Cairns SA4 region. A new ABS series on payrolls indicated that in the Cairns region there was a fall of about 11% in April compared to March.

Statistical Note

25 Jun 2020 Research & Statistical Note CE Ref J3312C.179

'JobKeeper'-Economic Impact Coronavirus Restrictions

Gives information that 9,000 businesses & organisations in the Cairns region applied in April for JobKeeper assistance to retain employees.

Statistical Note

15 Jun 2020 Research & Statistical Note CE Ref J3312B.178

MAY 2020 - Economic Impact of Coronavirus Restrictions Revised

Gives information that JobSeeker unemployment numbers reached 26,000 in May in the Cairns region.

Statistical Note

15 May 2020 Research & Statistical Note CE Ref J3310.176

Water Storage Development in the Cairns/TNQ/Peninsula Australia Region

Gives a brief appreciation of the situation with water resource development in the region and the need for improved benefit cost analysis.


15 Apr 2020 Research & Statistical Note CE Ref J3302.175

Population Growth 2018-19

Indicates population growth was relatively low across the North in 2018-19 but with Cairns region continuing to lead.


15 Mar 2020 Research & Statistical Note CE Ref J3299.174

Potential Impacts COVID-19 on Employment

Provided estimate of likely impacts of COVID-19 on future unemployment levels in the Cairns region.


15 Dec 2019 Research & Statistical Note CE Ref J3288.173

Horticultural Industries Up 45% in 4 Years

Records how value of Tablelands horticultural industries have jumped 45% in the last 4 years to reach value of over $500m pa.


28 Nov 2019 Cummings Economics Report CE Ref J3218.16

Direct Flights Between Lae & Cairns

Provides a summary of the Business Case for Direct Flights between Lae & Cairns developed for Tradelinked with support from Cairns Regional Council.

Link Tradelinked

12 Nov 2019 Media Article CE Ref J3284.17

Cairns Economy Update: Behind Cairns’ Success – Strong Hinterland Progress

Article prepared for magazine Cairns Connect November Issue Page 22.

Cairns Connect


12 Aug 2019 Media Article CE Ref J3266.18

Cairns Economy Update: Some Challenges But Continuing Overall Progress

Article prepared for magazine Cairns Connect August Issue Page 22


23 Jul 2019 Cairns Economy Presentation CE Ref J3262.188

Trends & Prospects for the Cairns & Regional Economy

Bill Cummings presented his annual address to the Cairns Chamber of Commerce on 23rd July 2019.

Address Text Address Slides

20 Jun 2019 Other Presentation CE Ref J3235.187

Cost of Alcohol Related Crime & Violence in Cairns

Bill Cummings made a presentation to the Liquor Accord Group in Cairns on 19th June 2019, giving estimates based on international and overseas data on the social cost of alcohol abuse.

Presentation Text Presentation Slides

12 Jun 2019 Other Presentation CE Ref J3228.189

The Importance of Mining to Cairns - Past, Present & Future

Bill Cummings presented a paper to the International MinErAL Conference in Cairns.

Address Script Address Powerpoint

06 Jun 2019 Research & Statistical Note CE Ref J3259.24

Queensland Budget 2019-20 Capital Expenditure Analysis

The Queensland Budget 2019-20 contained a major 14% rise in capital expenditure over the previous year. However, it was mostly in the Greater Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast area and there was a net decline in regional Queensland. Although there was a strong rise in the Cairns region, it only brought the region up from previous very low per capita levels for five years to about average per capita levels for regional areas. Analysis of capital expenditure in the Cairns SA4 region over the past six budgets indicates a cumulative deficit of over $1bn on regional per capita averages.

Cairns Region Regional Queensland

15 May 2019 Media Article CE Ref J3182.28

Cairns Economy Update: Capital of the North's Leading Region

This article sets out the wider and local influences on the Cairns region's economic prospects and likely performance in 2019. It records that the region has many positive underlying factors leading to its long-term growth but records some negative factors currently influencing performance. Cairns Connect magazine May Issue Page 22

Cairns Connect


24 Apr 2019 Media Article CE Ref J3245.25

Cairns Economy Update: Continuing To Lead In Overall Population Growth & Size In Northern Australia

Over the past year, the Cairns region stretching west to the Northern Territory border and north to the Papua New Guinea border has continued to be the largest in population and fastest growing region in northern Australia.

Article prepared for Cairns Chamber of Commerce Annual Publication.

Article Publication

16 Apr 2019 Research & Statistical Note CE Ref J3205.26

The Importance Of The Construction Sector & Civil Construction In The Northern Queensland Regional Economies

Bill Cummings presented the results of a research paper to the inaugural conference of the North Queensland Civil Construction Association - Cairns 6th April 2019, indicating that with "flow-on" effects, the construction sector supported of the order of 18% of economic activity and employment from the Mackay region northwards.

Paper Presentation

04 Apr 2019 Research & Statistical Note Ref J3225.27

The Case For Nullinga Dam

This short presentation prepared for Cairns Regional Council summarises why it is urgent to expand water storage in the region if the expansion in agricultural production the region has been experiencing is to continue.

Fact Sheet

01 Apr 2019 Research & Statistical Note CE Ref J3243.29

Trends In Tourism In Tropical North Queensland

This series of three Research Notes were prepared for Tourism Tropical North Queensland.

Each paper sets out significant findings as well as detailed charts, tables and analysis.

16 Mar 2019 Cummings Economics Report CE Ref J3210.30

Queensland Government Long-Term Population Projections In Regional Queensland From The 1970s Onwards

There has been sporadic controversy about the Queensland Government's long-term population projections in regional Queensland. This paper reviews regional projections against what actually happened.

The research indicates that economic volatility has made projections difficult. There have been some large over estimations, especially of those regions heavily affected by mining based on Rockhampton, Mackay and Townsville, and for the Outback region, but comparative under estimation in the Cairns region. The Cairns and Wide Bay regions have consistently led growth in regional areas and it seems likely that the latest projections for the Cairns region in relation to other regional areas will prove to be an under estimate.


15 Mar 2019 Research & Statistical Note CE Ref J3246.183

Population Growth Down Across Northern Australia 2017-18

The statistical note indicates that population growth across northern Australia in 2017-18 was down. The Cairns region was down marginally and below long-term trends but still leading the way.

Statistical Note

Supporting Northern & Pacific Progress

Projects Map

Supporting Northern & Pacific Progress

Some projects undertaken by Cummings Economics & Compass Research
throughout Northern Australia & the Pacific Region.