IPSWICH is no longer the poorer cousin of the Gold Coast.
Former Gold Coast mayor Ron Clarke used to put Ipswich down, but Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures reveal that Ipswich wage earners bring home on average more than their Gold Coast counterparts.
The ABS figures, for the 2009-10 financial year, show that wage earners in Ipswich bring home on average $44,785. The Gold Coast average is $43,018 while Logan's is $42,985.
Cr Paul Tully said the figures were "extraordinary".
"People of Ipswich can be proud of being ahead of the Gold Coast," he said.
"No one could have ever imagined that even five years ago. The former mayor of the Gold Coast, Ron Clarke, was constantly putting Ipswich down, but now we have leapt ahead of them in terms of weekly earnings.
"This reminds me of the days when Peter Beattie dubbed Ipswich as 'the new Ipswich' - the emerging Ipswich with a bigger population and a lot more development. This is a major boost to the economy of the city and will continue to make Ipswich a place where people want to live.
"I'll predict that Ipswich will go even further ahead when the Ripley Valley development kicks off."
Mayor Paul Pisasale said the Ipswich figures were encouraging and showed the city was "on an upward spiral".
"If you look at the last lot of figures we were behind some of our neighbours, but we have pegged that back," he said.
"We are starting to attract some good jobs. When you look at the aerospace industry, the manufacturing industry and our universities that are producing young doctors, it is all looking good."
Cr Pisasale said the figures didn't tell the full story about why Ipswich was a desirable place to live.
"It is not the money; what has made Ipswich strong is the way we care for each other," he said.
Wage earners in the Lockyer Valley bring home $39,444 on average while those in the Somerset earn $42,927 and those in the Scenic Rim $43,046. Ipswich is below the Brisbane average of $52,849 and just down on the Queensland average of $47,054.
- Ipswich $44,785
- Scenic Rim $43,046
- Gold Coast $43,018
- Sunshine Coast $41,365