Drought and FIFO main reasons for increase in CQ debtors

A CENTRAL Queensland commercial agent has called this financial year the 12 worst months she has experienced in 20 years.

And the figures agree.

The 2015 Regional personal insolvency statistics for the June quarter were released this week, showing a sharp increase in the number of debtors in Central Queensland.

Notably, Rockhampton has increased from a total of 55 debtors in June 2014 to 73 in 2015.

The Central Highlands, with a total of 22, was identified as the region with the highest proportion of debtors outside of the greater Brisbane area.

The commercial agent said the "unbelievable" increase in debtors throughout the Central Queensland region was a direct result of two major economic factors.

"A lot of it would be due to the drought, and a lot of it, out of Rocky particularly, would be due to FIFO (Fly-in Fly-out)," she said.

"CQ has gone through the worst period that I have ever known...37 farming properties were taken before Christmas by the banks and the suicide rate has been very high.

"And those figures wouldn't even include people who have had debt summons."

She said she saw the issue building up a few years ago.

"When FIFO came in, Emerald just hit the dust...it meant that people weren't living in the towns and people closed camps," she said.

"People are frightened to say they have a debt. A lot of people overextended themselves."

She said that whilst times had been tough, the increase wasn't necessarily a pattern that we would continue to see.

"I think people are becoming a little bit more proactive about it; and I know that the banks are doing a lot more to advise people and help people because they can't afford to lose people too," she said.

"Go and talk to your bank manager...that's what you need to do, they will listen to you."

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