The speed of population growth in Queensland is set to slow down, with the Queensland Government strategically directing growth to its western areas.
Planning Minister Paul Lucas has told State Parliament that the latest state-wide population projections for the next 25 years showed an estimated annual growth rate of 1.7 per cent, well down on the average rate of 2.4 per cent in the five years to June 2006.
“By 2012, we expect to have reached the peak of the cycle with projections showing an easing of the growth rate back to two per cent by 2014 and then to 1.5 per cent in 2021,” Mr Lucas said.
He said with the overall growth rate set to decline, the state’s population was projected to reach almost 6.3 million by 2031.
The decline in the expected population growth was particularly visible on the Sunshine Coast, falling from a 3.4 per cent annual growth rate over the past decade to around 2.1 per cent between 2006 and 2031.
Similarly, Brisbane City’s annual growth rate is forecast to be under one per cent, with growth on the Redlands set to drop from 2.5 per cent to 1.5 per cent.
Ipswich on the other hand was projected to be the state’s fastest expanding local government area in the next 25 years with an average annual growth rate of 4.6 per cent.
Mr Lucas said the trend was the result of the state’s strategy to divert population to the western regions, and the figures would be utilised for councils’ future planning purposes.
“This shows our strategy to direct most of our growth to the western corridor is working,” he said.
“We’re backing growth in the western corridor with a massive investment in infrastructure.”
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