Bad year for Coast business failures
CALOUNDRA is the Sunshine Coast's bankruptcy capital.
It had the highest number of bankruptcies for the first nine months of this year.
Australian Financial Security Authority figures revealed about 370 people declared bankruptcy on the Sunshine Coast between January and September this year.
This included 89 in the Caloundra area, 30 of which were business-related.
Of the Sunshine Coast areas, Maroochy recorded the second highest number of bankruptcies with a total of 64 between January and September.
Although Noosa also recorded large numbers, it recently turned a corner.
Noosa had tied with Caloundra for the most bankruptcies in the April to June quarter, with 25 each.
But that dropped to 14 for Noosa between July and September, the lowest of all Coast areas for that period.
Buderim and the Sunshine Coast hinterland recorded the fewest bankruptcies for the year, at 49 each.
Financial Counselling Australia executive director Fiona Guthrie said Queensland had the highest number of bankruptcies in the country.
"There is something really strange happening in Queensland and I think one of the reasons is that Queensland is the only government that does not fund financial counselling," she said.
"I don't think it is the whole reason but I think it is part of it, because when people get into strife, there is no one there to assist them.
"Whether they're struggling to pay the bills, they could start to turn it around if they can see options. But when you don't have them, it keeps spiralling on."
While the number of bankrupt Sunshine Coast residents had increased during the previous two quarters, Ms Guthrie said the long-term trend showed a fall in bankruptcies.
"We have fewer bankruptcies but more part nine agreements," she said.
These agreements are a form of insolvency where creditors agree to accept a sum of money the debtor can afford.
While debt agreements were an alternative to bankruptcy, Ms Guthrie said it was not always the best option.
"Bankruptcy can be a terrific option for people because it gives you a fresh start when you don't have a light at the end of the tunnel," she said.
HIT THE WALL
Bankruptcies by region:
Sunshine Coast Hinterland: 49
- APN NEWSDESK