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Simplified assessment of the regional economic impacts of interruption to transport corridors with application to the 2011 Queensland floods

  • Year: 2013
  • Author: Rolfe, John; Kinnear, Susan and Gowen, Rebecca.
  • Journal Name: The Australasian Journal of Regional Studies
  • Journal Number: Vol. 19 No. 2
  • Publisher: Australian and New Zealand Regional Science Association
  • Published Location: Armidale, NSW
  • ISBN: 1324-0935
  • Country: Australia

The focus of this study was on the economic costs of closures to transport corridors from flood waters at Rockhampton in January 2011. Two approaches have been used to provide for a simplified assessment of the economic impacts of the road closures. The first was to model the proportional downturn in the regional economy, using data from surveys with local businesses to assess the proportional drop in business activity over the period. Using this approach the impact on the local economy was estimated at $35 million, or about 0.77 percent of the gross regional product for Rockhampton. The second approach involved application of the travel cost savings methodology to assess the costs of transport corridor closures. The total direct costs have been assessed with the travel time approach at $66.7 million for the road closure, and $13.5 million for the airport closure, with more than half ($47.5 million) relating to the isolation of the north Queensland economy. The estimate of costs to the Rockhampton economy of $32.7 million closely matches the results of the economic slowdown approach.

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