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 market research services and economy reviews, especially aimed at 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.

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


15 Jul 2019 Cairns Economy Presentation CE Ref J3262.19

Cairns Economy Update: Short-term Trends & Prospects for the Cairns and Regional Economy

Bill Cummings Cairns Chamber of Commerce annual address.

When I first started presenting these annual reviews of the economy to the Chamber,14 years ago in 2005, the Cairns economy was flying high. In the following years, city population growth rate would reach close to 4%, building approvals exceed $1bn, and number of dwelling approvals exceed 3,000.

Paper Presentation

15 Jun 2019 Research & Statistical Note CE Ref J3235.22

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.

12 Jun 2019 Other Presentation CE Ref J3228.23

Cairns & Mining

Bill Cummings presented a paper to the International Mineral Conference in Cairns on 12th June 2019 entitled "The Importance of Mining to Cairns - Past, Present and Future".

Paper Presentation

06 Jun 2019 Research & Statistical Note CE Ref J3259A &.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 Research & Statistical Note CE Ref J3225.30

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.

Fact Sheet

12 Feb 2019 Media Article CE Ref J3266.40

Cairns Economy Update: Expectations for 2019

  • Removing the bottlenecks.
  • Consumer Spending Positive
  • Earnings from outside the region.
  • Government and other services "catch up" continuing.

Article prepared for magazine Cairns Connect February Issue Page 22.


13 Nov 2018 Media Article Ref J3195.43

Top 10 Reasons To Invest In The Cairns Region

Cummings Economics supplied an article for the Cairns Post's "Invest Cairns" booklet.


11 Sep 2018 Research & Statistical Note CE Ref J3142.42

Cairns Seaport Expansion

These four Statistical Notes address:

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

11 Sep 2018 Research & Statistical Note CE Ref .44

Comparative Government Expenditure In The Cairns Region

These papers again highlight the comparatively low level of Commonwealth and State Government expenditure in the North.

17 Jul 2018 Cairns Economy Presentation CE Ref RefJ3171.49

Winning Through: Economic Trends & Prospects for Cairns and the Tropical North Queensland Region

Bill Cummings presented his annual review of the region's economy to the Cairns Chamber of Commerce on 24th July 2018.

Paper Presentation

30 Jun 2018 Research & Statistical Note CE Ref J3163.45

Historical Economic & Population Trends Affecting The Potential Viability Of New States In The North

Cummings Economics supplied a Paper, for the Committee for a Separate Northern State in Queensland.


28 Jun 2018 Research & Statistical Note CE Ref J3168.51

2018/19 Capital Expenditure Regional Comparisons

The following gives an analysis of the 2018-19 State budget capital expenditure (purchases) by region compared with population and movements over the last 5 years.

Statistical Note

27 Jun 2018 Research & Statistical Note CE Ref J3163.46

The Drift To Part-Time Employment

Statistical Note on trends in part-time employment - Analysis Trends 2006 - 2016.

Statistical Note

12 Jun 2018 Research & Statistical Note CE Ref J3150.47

University Development In Cairns

This note analyses data available from the 2016 Census and indicates that among the five Australian cities in the population range 100,000 to 200,000 (Hobart, Townsville, Cairns, Toowoomba, Darwin and Ballarat), in university student numbers and employment, Cairns ranks last, well below all the others and in per capita employment, Cairns was less than half.

Research 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.