The City of Devonport is open and ready for business. Its major strengths include its location and lifestyle qualities; existing infrastructure; natural resources (including fresh water supply); availability of unskilled and semi-skilled workers; linkages to agricultural sector in surrounding region; and relatively low business cost base (especially in terms of wages and land costs).
Devonport's industry is focussed on a number of key sectors comprising retail trade, manufacturing, health & community services, property & business services and education. Given Devonport's geographical location and natural resources, other important sectors are agriculture, transport & logistics and tourism.
Approximately 1,500 residents in the City of Devonport (18% of total workforce) are employed in the retail sector, and the sector contributes 1,910 jobs to the local economy. Retail spending by Devoport residents is estimated to be $250 million in 2006, and this comprises approximately $123 million of food spending, $121 million of non-food spending and $6 million in spending on services.
Approximately 1,375 Devonport residents (16% of total workforce) are employed in the manufacturing sector, and there are approximately 1,470 manufacturing jobs in the municipality. Key sub-sectors are textile, clothing and footwear, and food and beverage products. The contribution of the local industry to value added is in the order of $120 million pa to $130 million pa, and the surrounding region accounts for approximately 30% of total income and wages and salaries paid by the industry in Tasmania.
Approximately 1000 residents (11% of total worforce) are employed in the transport and logistics related activities (eg transport and storage, wholesale etc), and there are 1,350 jobs in the local sector. The Port of Devonport is the key driver of the sector handling 3.1 billion mass tonnes of freight per year, which represents 21% of the State's shipping freight total. Growth in shipping activity and freight growth levels have been strong over the past decade with Devonport's share of Tasmanian ship visits increasing from 25% to 44%, and share of the State's mass tonnes handled increasing from 18% to 21%. This increased Port activity helps support a range of local transport, storage and other logistics-related operators.
Approximately 340 residents (4% total workforce) are employed in the agricultural sector. The value of agricultural output for the Mersey-Lyell Region is estimated to be $315 million pa (as per 2001). Regional output comprises $160 million in livestock slaughterings, $153 million in crops, and $94 million in livestock products. Between 1997 and 2001, output in the region grew at 5.0% per annum, which is higher than the State average of 4.2%.
Approximately 600 Devonport residents (7% of total workforce) are employed in the tourism sector. Growth in visitation to Devonport has been strong over the past few years with total visitation increasing from 178,000 in 2000/01 to 277,000 in 2003/04. The share of visitors to Tasmania also visiting Devonport has risen from 31% to 36% over this period. The value of tourism to the Devonport economy is estimated to be $33 million per year and this includes spending from the high proportion of visitors who stop and look around Devonport and the small proportion who stay in Devonport for a night or more.
All the above information has been sourced from the Devonport Economic Baseline Study 2007, prepared for Devonport City Council by Essential Economics