Mining sites and Sydney suburbs dominate the list of Australia’s top 10 regions by median income

Mining sites and Sydney suburbs dominate the list of Australia’s top 10 regions by median income
Ian Waldie/Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • South Australia’s Roxby Downs commanded the highest median income per job of any Australian region through 2018-2019.
  • A new Australian Bureau of Statistics analysis shows the highest-earning regions list is dominated by other mining hotspots.
  • North Sydney and Lane Cove are the only metropolitan areas included in the top 10 list.
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Mining hot spots dominate a new Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) list of the nation’s highest-earning regions, followed by popular inner-city suburbs across Sydney.

In a fresh analysis of data collected through 2018-2019, the ABS states South Australia’s Roxby Downs commanded the highest median income per job of any local government area nationwide.

Workers in the region earned a median income of $84,851, reflecting the high number of resource professionals operating out of the nearby Olympic Dam mine site.

Ashburton in Western Australia came in second place, with a median income per job of $80,225.

That result speaks to the high concentration of major open-cut mines in the Pilbara region, which produced over $30 billion of iron ore in 2018.

Weipa in Queensland snuck into third place with a median income per job of $79,328 – the result likely buoyed by Rio Tinto’s nearby bauxite mining operation.

North Sydney broke the trend in fourth place, with workers in the region notching a median income of $73,965.

Maralinga, which covers a former British nuclear weapons testing site in South Australia’s remote east, landed in fifth place. Workers in the region earned a median income of $68,754.

The remainder of the top 10 highest-earning regions is populated by mining precincts, and Lane Cove in Sydney’s north, a region not known for its rich mineral deposits.

  • Port Hedland, WA: $68,533
  • Isaac, QLD: $67,514
  • Lane Cove, NSW: $65,358
  • Sandstone, WA: $64,918
  • Leonora, WA: $64,280

Mining was also the highest-paid industry over the survey period, with a median income of $106,244.

While mining regions were flooded with high-paying jobs, the data reaffirms that extractive industries comprised just 1.1 per cent of the total jobs market across 2018-2019.

Regardless, mining jobs maintain an outsized influence on government policy, including plans to bolster Australia’s emission reduction commitments.

Health care and social assistance roles are the most common in Australia, comprising 11.5 per cent of the jobs market in 2018-2019, followed by administrative and support services at 9.5 per cent.

Those fields commanded a median annual income of $38,494 and $12,786, respectively.