MATT Burnett's western Sydney friends could be the perfect example of why tens of thousands of people will relocate to Gladstone.
The Gladstone region's mayor said if his friends sold their Sydney home and moved to the Port City, they could buy a new home and still have half a million dollars in the pocket.
He said it was Gladstone's community spirit that could lure city slickers to the region, and the diverse industry and businesses would keep them here.
Gladstone Regional Council's annual report, released late last year, showed the Queensland Government forecast the region's population to increase to 106,302 within 18 years.
Confident Gladstone will be home to more than 100,000 people one day, Cr Burnett said the port and community heart were key to increasing the region's population of 61,640 (2016).
"We have the port, which is the biggest economic driver for the city and region... we wouldn't have half the industry we have without the port authority," he said.
"That's our advantage over everywhere else and that's why we will continue to grow."
Cr Burnett said biofuels was another potential growth industry he wanted Gladstone to be at the centre of..
He said the progression of Northern Oil's Advanced Biofuel Pilot Plant could create more construction jobs, and ongoing employment when the full scale project was built.
"There's lots of things the Gladstone economy can diversify into, we can't just rely on coal and aluminium any more," Cr Burnett said.
He said the timing and size of upgrades to roads and reservoirs was also key to ensuring the region had the infrastructure to service a larger population and in some cases there were upgrade plans ready to action when a population increase was looming.
Social infrastructure such as libraries, entertainment precincts and health services also need to be upgraded, Cr Burnett said.
"We need to start thinking about where we can build the next library and other social services.
"That's why we're building the Philip St community precinct and we've supported the Mercy Aged Care Intergener- ational campus."