Population growth seems inevitable, according to Queensland councils.
Population growth seems inevitable, according to Queensland councils.

Major population growth for Gympie

QUEENSLAND and the Gympie Region face major and probably inevitable population growth and an absence of any clearly thought-out government policies to deal with it, according to a Local Government Association of Queensland report.

The report calls for “significant up front investment in new public infrastructure to meet the needs of new residents” and says the state could use tax policy as either a way of funding this or as a means of discouraging growth or directing it to particular regions.

Most of all, it says, the government needs to develop clearly thought policies to recognise and respond to the issue.

The report has particular relevance to the Gympie and nearby region, sandwiched as it is between the growth-pressured areas of the Sunshine and Fraser Coasts.

“Accepting that growth will continue means that a key focus of policies must be on enhanced growth management, seeking to accommodate growth without compromising liveability, affordability and long-term ecological sustainability.

“There appears to be strong support in the community for increasing the proportion of the population living outside South East Queensland,” it says.

Overseas migration to Queensland is largely uncontrolled by any Commonwealth Government immigration policies, because 40 per cent of it involves people moving here from New Zealand, something which the inquiry panel says can be regarded as unregulated and similar to interstate migration.

With new mining projects requiring infrastructure construction and ongoing skilled labour and plenty of people wanting to come here, the report says there is little likelihood of any drop in either demand or supply of new residents.

“There appears to be little immediate prospect of current growth rates in Queensland, including SEQ, slowing through any reasonable policy initiatives available to the State or Federal Government (and) it will be difficult to slow the rate of overseas migration into Queensland over the next five years, regardless of changes in federal policies.”

The LGAQ commissioned a panel of population and planning experts and academic and business leaders to conduct the inquiry, with public submissions.

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