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People Power: How We’re Planning for Queensland’s Future Population Today

People Power: How We’re Planning for Queensland’s Future Population Today

Today (28 June), the Australian Bureau of Statistics released data from its 2021 Census of Population and Housing. What the data shows for Queensland is perhaps what we already knew: that more people than ever are flocking to the Sunshine State for good jobs, better services and a great lifestyle.

Read on to find out how the Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning (DSDILGP) is ensuring this growth delivers a better Queensland for all of us.

What does the ABS Census data show about Queensland?

Census data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals Queensland had the largest positive population change of any Australian state or territory for the year ending 31 December 2021, with our state welcoming over 73,000 people: a 1.4 percent population increase.

Queensland also recorded Australia’s highest level of net interstate migration, with over 50,000 people moving to our state (New South Wales was the state or territory who experienced the greatest population loss with over 35,000 people leaving during the same period).

Queensland: A Great Place to Live and Work

One of the many people who made the move from NSW to QLD was Electrical Engineer Trent Sheiles, for whom Queensland was an obvious destination for him and his young family when an opportunity was presented through his work as an Automation Technician at Nu Pure Beverages.

"We were living in an apartment in Sydney and my wife and I had just had our first child, so we needed more space,” Trent says. “Affordability, climate and proximity to work were the big drivers, but we’ve also loved the food and coffee – and of course the craft beer scene!”

Queensland also offered an attractive place to call home for Trent’s own businesses. He runs the Australian arm of UK brewery Mash Gang, and co-owns non-alcoholic drink distributor Beer Not Beer.

As for what’s next, Trent says he and his family are looking forward to exploring the rest of what Queensland has to offer.

“We’re looking forward to exploring the islands off Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and into the hinterland. We love experiencing new areas and I feel like we’ve barely scratched the surface of Queensland!”

Population growth = a positive for Queensland?

As the population of our cities and towns continue to grow and change, the demand for attractive, healthy, safe, accessible, and inclusive places and spaces increases. With growth comes opportunities. As Queensland grows, our jobs and economy can also grow.

Through the work of our department, we’re making sure our state’s world-class lifestyle is strengthened by carefully planned and connected communities supporting the varying needs of new, existing and future Queenslanders at all stages of life.

What makes a great community for you?

  • different housing options?
  • green spaces?
  • places for activity and creativity?
  • digital connectivity?
  • renewable energy options?
  • access to shops, workplaces, hospitals, schools and transport?

The good news of course is that the economic catalyst for creating more education and health facilities, lifestyle precincts and digital connectivity (and indeed everything in the table above!) is population growth. The work of our department ensures we’re growing in the right way, and in a way that will benefit future Queenslanders.

Queensland: A Great Place for Business

For Denis Keeffe, Executive Director at Cairns-based fashion and gift brand Mainie Australia (and former CEO of the North Queensland Cowboys), Queensland offers something unique for both your business and your customers.

“Because we live in Cairns, that already comes with its own international brand. People know the reef, so they want to come and experience everything that goes with it,” he says.

“People come from all around the world to experience what Queensland has to offer. I once spoke to a tourist who told me that she could sip coffee in Paris or sail down the Seine, but nothing compares to the uniqueness Queensland has to offer.”

How do we plan for growth?

As Queensland’s population continues to grow and change, so too will our households, our streets, suburbs, cities, towns and regions. We need to make sure current and future generations have somewhere to live, a job to work in and places and spaces to enjoy.

Queensland’s strong response to the Covid-19 pandemic meant many people like Trent   left the Southern States in search of a better lifestyle. Queensland had more interstate migration that any other state or territory with 30,000 people moving to Queensland in 2020 alone.

Housing supply and affordability is a complex issue, but since 2020 we have been able to unlock more than 46,000 lots across South East Queensland and bring forward thousands more, in the areas people most want to live.

More than just unlocking lots, we are ensuring we do so in a way that maintains the enviable lifestyle many have come to enjoy in Queensland.

We're growing Queensland’s economy while maintaining the lifestyle we all love, through:

  • Regional Plans that set out how each region will grow by linking long-term economic strategy with land use and infrastructure planning.
  • A State Infrastructure Strategy which sets out the vision for infrastructure in Queensland over the next 20 years.
  • Economic Development Queensland: the government’s commercial development arm which oversees Priority Development Areas (PDAs): targeted areas for accelerated and coordinated development that help get good property developments to market sooner, including affordable and social housing,
  • A specialised Growth Areas Team to accelerate development opportunities and land supply across South East Queensland, Australia’s fastest-growing region, supported by low-interest loans through the $150 million Catalyst Infrastructure Fund.
  • The office of the Coordinator-General: playing a key role in Queensland’s economic development through wide-ranging powers to plan, deliver and coordinate large-scale infrastructure projects, while ensuring their environmental impacts are responsibly managed.

People Power

Through all of the above, and the rest of the work of our department, we can ensure the Queensland economy continues to flourish. Despite the range of economic challenges faced in early 2022, including the Omicron COVID-19 outbreak, devastating floods and the global impacts of the conflict in Ukraine, Queensland’s domestic economy continued to grow. It is now 7.8 per cent larger than its pre-COVID level, outperforming the national average and major southern states.

Want to be a part of how we’re delivering an even greater Queensland? Don’t forget to follow DSDILGP on social media to find out how we’re Growing Queensland! You can find us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube!

Image credits: Tourism and Events Queensland

Last updated: 06 Jun 2023