Thousands of Queenslanders dodged a bullet yesterday when the Reserve Bank [of Australia] made a shock decision to hold official interest rates. Ben Paris of Debt Mediators estimated about 10,000 Queenslanders were one interest rate rise away from "financial catastrophe", since the cash rate reached 3.75 per cent on the back of three consecutive 0.25 per centage point increases by central bank last year. The dire prediction was supported by figures collated by Fujitsu Consulting, which showed 199,000 Australian households were under severe mortgage stress.