The surprising towns where Australians earn the highest salaries

The VERY surprising towns where Australians earn the highest salaries – and Melbourne‘s ritzy inner- east and Sydney‘s beach side suburbs don‘t even come close

Australia‘s wealthiest suburbs are far from the bright lights and cityscapes of harbourside Sydney or metropolitan . 

In fact, a far-flung pocket of Western Australia‘s rural north west earns over double the nation‘s average income.

The median income for the 13,000 residents living in and around the mining and agricultural towns of Ashburton was $100,665, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data from 2015-16.     

For those living in and around the nation‘s less-glamorous capital, average incomes in the Australian Capital Territory were recorded as over $15,000 more than the national average of $47,692.

Wages grew most sharply across the Northern Territory, partly due to strong growth in the Greater Darwin area, with average incomes in the state 21 per cent higher than they were five years ago. 

Palmerston, near Darwin Harbour, is also home to a high proportion of higher income earners.

In Queensland‘s remote Cape York mining town of Weipa, average incomes of $81,123 were recovered annually over the same time period.  

The Torres region of Queensland recorded the highest income growth since 2010-11 with median total income increasing by 25 per cent and the highest year-on-year growth at 30 per cent.

Australia‘s mining states have seen higher wage growth and higher average advertised salaries due, in part, to a rebound in commodity prices and the inhospitable and remote areas most minors are required to work. 

The median income for a miner in Australia is $106,000, more than double the Australian average.   

Sydney‘s harbourside suburbs of Woollahra and Mosman were still, unsurprisingly, home to some of the nation‘s wealthiest.

The greater Woollahra area, comprising Point Piper, Bellevue Hill and Double Bay, enjoyed the state‘s highest median income of $74,076 a year.  

In Melbourne, Stonington‘s well-heeled suburbs of South Yarra and Toorak were Victoria‘s wealthiest with an average income of $60,483.

However, despite the areas‘ more lavishly known opulence, they‘re also home to Australia‘s biggest income inequality.

In Woollahra, 55 per cent of income is generated by just 10 per cent of residents with more than half not considered ‘high earners‘, dragging the median figure down.

As wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few, mean income in these areas may not reflect the actual incomes of the majority. 

Mosman Park in Perth‘s western suburbs also has one of the most unequal distributions of income wealth, with an average income of $127,000 generated by just 10 per cent of residents.