There are calls for the Queensland Government to further involve its communities in regional planning for the future as the state’s population continues to surge.
An open forum is being held at QUT tonight to discuss how the state can prepare for a projected population growth to 5-million and beyond.
Jane Buckle reports.
Increasing house prices, traffic jams and an overcrowded health system – the pressures of population growth are everywhere.
Queensland’s population continues to rise and presents both challenges and opportunities to the state.
A projection from the government predicts the population will hit 6.6-million people by 2031 and 9.1-million by 2056.
Queenslanders have mixed views on the topic.
Vox 1: “We have a lot of space and there’s plenty more room for people to move here compared to the rest of the world.”
Vox 2: “I think diversity’s great. Having more people into the state can only do good things.”
Vox 3: “I don’t think population growth’s a problem, as long as there’s planning for more people to be able to live well and sustainably in the area.”
Vox 4: “With the population increasing and increasing, how many are going to get work?”
But experts say it’s not all doom and gloom.
Associate Professor Phil Heywood, QUT School of Urban Development: “Developers like to keep the myth of the land famine going because it gives them more freedom of manoeuvre.”
He says it’s necessary for governments to plan ahead with communities – especially in the event of a population growth above two per cent.
Associate Professor Phil Heywood, QUT School of Urban Development: “If we do that, we can have a good continuous, optimistic society.”
He says events such as the Living with Growth forum tonight at QUT are a step in the right direction.
As much as the community and government work together to plan ahead, how exactly Queensland will cope with its projected population growth is relatively unknown. One thing that is certain is the government still has a big job ahead of them.
Jane Buckle, QUT News.