30-somethings set to boom 1:52
New population figures reveal Australians in their 30s will increase at a rate of 100,000 per year over the next decade.
SOUTHEAST Queensland may have to sacrifice its “sacred cows” to accommodate a projected population increase of more than two million over the next 30 years.
Senior infrastructure planners believe the region will require 480,000 houses above the already projected 750,000 to built by 2040 to accommodate the influx.
State forests, pineapple farms, canefields and sensitive coastal zones such as Pumicestone Passage may be needed as the region looks to accommodate an extra onemore than one million-plus dwellings, or 34,000 new houses a year.
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Jeff Humphreys, senior principal at infrastructure and environmental services company Cardno, told the recent Urban Development Institute of Australia forum in Brisbane the population growth would provide significant challenges for the city.
“We thought we needed 750,000 new dwellings to accommodate a (population) growth of 1.6 million … 480,000 additional dwellings are now required on top of those that were already planned for in the existing urban footprint,” he said.
Experts said that by 2041, southeast Queensland’s population could reach 5.5 million .
The pristine Pumicestone Passage north of Brisbane, with Glass House Mountains visible in the background, is one of the sensitive areas earmarked for possible future residential development.
Population growth predictions were now 15 per cent higher, mainly due to migration from overseas.
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show the region’s population in 2011 was 3.05 million.
“Any new greenfield areas have to be accessible in some way to the centre of the region by road and public transport,” Mr Humphreys said.
He said the huge cost of developing public transport infrastructure meant it was important to locate new greenfield areas along existing or planned road and rail corridors.
Mr Humphreys said the region must also examine other “sacred cows” such as biodiversity corridors “to see if they can be reconfigured and still meet ecological outcomes”.
A big Australia just got bigger 1:44
Bernard Salt takes a look at the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ population projections for the rest of the century.