THE best things in life might be free, but groceries and fuel aren't.
And the latest index of retail prices published by the Queensland government statistician's office has found picking up milk and bread is a lot more expensive in the state's regions, than it is in greater Brisbane. All up, the cost of living varies by about 33 per cent across the state.
Spare a thought for the just under 3000 people who live in the far north Queensland town of Weipa or the just under 9000 people in Moranbah - life there is about 22.5 per cent more expensive there than in the greater Brisbane region.
While in Gatton, where just under 7000 people live at the foot of Toowoomba range, it is a little easier to pay for life's necessities, with its price index coming in a little more than 10 per cent less expensive than greater Brisbane and the cheapest across the state.
Housing costs account for about 22 per cent of the average Queensland household expenditure - mining towns such as Moranbah suffered with an index up to 186.9 per cent, meaning living there was 86.9 per cent more expensive than housing costs in the greater Brisbane area.
In the western Queensland town of Charleville, housing costs were 44.3 per cent cheaper than in the conglomerate Brisbane area, but on the whole, mining towns - Mount Isa, Gladstone, Emerald, Roma and Mackay - suffered, with higher median weekly rents, electricity and other household fuel costs.
Smaller, mainly agricultural and tourist regions, including Townsville, Rockhampton, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Maryborough, Longreach and Gympie, were cheaper.
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