REGION LAGS IN RESIDENT APPEAL

REGION LAGS IN RESIDENT APPEAL

POPULATION growth on the Gold Coast has slowed dramatically in the last year which has widespread potential economic impact for the region, a peak development body has warned.

The Gold Coast attracted 9640 new residents in the year to June 2011 which was a 35 per cent slide on the 14,940 average annual migration accumulated since 2001.

Gold Coast Logan Urban Development Institute of Australia president Steve Harrison says population growth – once a hallmark of the city’s success – has been stifled by the challenge of delivering affordable living options.

Harrison has called on Mayor Tom Tate to deliver on his election pledges of scrapping Priority Infrastructure Plan (PIP) charges for shovel-ready projects.

The UDIA believes fast-tracking more projects will boost job opportunities across the region and make living on the Gold Coast affordable for more families.

“It’s important that Council understands the population growth which underpinned the success of the Gold Coast has slowed compared to its own trends, and the trends of other Queensland destinations including Ipswich and Logan,’’ says Harrison.

“Sluggish population growth and higher than expected unemployment has increased the pressure on Council to deliver on Mayor Tom Tate’s pledge of scrapping PIP for shovel-ready projects.’’

The migration statistics, published within the Queensland Government’s Office of Economic and Statistical Research June 2012 report, showed Logan and Ipswich recorded population growth above their 10-year average in 2011.

Logan increased its population intake in 2011 to 5330 new residents last year, or 210 above its average, while Ipswich attracted another 4920 residents – 190 above its annual average.

Brisbane recorded a decrease in annual migration -14,100 compared to 18,270 over the decade.

“Construction and development has been central to the success of the Gold Coast over past decades. But now skilled workers from the Coast are looking elsewhere to the mines, or Ipswich and Logan,’’ says Harrison.

“The Gold Coast has all the sought-after lifestyle attractions but the family dream of a three bedroom house with backyard was put beyond the means of most in recent years.

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