Gold hits five-year high

The price of gold hit almost a five-year high this week when it reached $US327 an ounce, an increase of 17 per cent since the beginning of the year.

This could herald good news for some regional communities, says the Australian Gold Council, as it's likely to translate into a boost in exploration in regional areas. Exploration has halved over the past four years as the price of gold has languished.

The Australian Gold Council's chief executive Tamara Stevens says that job increases will follow, as clearly more exploration in regional areas, more gold mining and more production will boost employment. Ms Stevens said that for every one job created in the mining industry the multiplier effect means that four or five additional or indirect jobs are created in secondary industries, which is a boon for regional centres.