Planning to secure funding
IN 20 years Gympie could have a Kmart, two new cinemas, 7000 new homes and 12,000 more metres of cement if current population predictions prove true.
All this is based on Department of Infrastructure and Planning estimates based on 20,000 more people moving to the Gympie region by 2031.
Gympie Regional Council Planning and Development deputy chair Cr Jan Watt, who spoke at the recent International Cities and Towns Conference held at Coffs Harbour and the Local Government Association of Queensland’s Community Development Conference in Townsville, said Gympie had to start planning for the population boom now.
And residents needed to have their say.
“I really must encourage you to take the opportunity to get involved and have a real impact on the future of this region.
“It is quite exciting when you consider that your knowledge, ideas, experiences and vision can actually help shape what we become and what we make of this place for the next generations,” she said.
Cr Watt said there were significant planning exercises underway at federal, state and local levels that people could get involved with, to make sure the future of the region catered for them.
Gympie sits as one of six local government areas in the Wide Bay Burnett (WBB) Region which has a combined population of 287,425 and which is expected to grow by 150,000 people by 2031.
“There are five major centres in WBB, Bundaberg, Maryborough, Hervey Bay, Gympie and Kingaroy and with our region outstripping the National average in population growth you can imagine planning is fast becoming a vital issue for us locally.”
One way to make sure the Gympie region secures its fair share of federal and state funding on offer – that will help prepare for the future – is to take part in planning initiatives and tell the government what we need in the region, Cr Watt says.
She said funding opportunities flowed from Regional Development Australia, which was developing a road map for the Wide Bay Burnett region; and the Wide Bay Burnett regional plan which was being developed would impact socially, environmentally and economically on the region.