Managing growth a challenge

ABOUT 60,000 people are now living in the Gladstone region, according to a government report.

The report, Population growth highlights and trends Queensland 2010, has revealed Gladstone experienced the eighth-largest population growth in Queensland in 2008-09 with an estimated resident population of 59,644 as of June 30, 2009.

The report released by the Treasury's Office of Economic and Statistical Research shows that Gladstone experienced an average population growth of more than 1864 people over each of the past three years.

Gladstone Regional Council director of commercial and community services Cale Dendle said the report confirms that the Gladstone region is among the top 10 fastest-growing regions in Queensland.

“Management of growth on the scale forecast will be a challenge, but the region is better positioned in 2010 than it has been in advance of growth phases in previous years,” he said.

“The region is much better positioned to handle the next wave of population growth than it was during industrial expansion 10 years ago.”

The predictions of more than 100,000 people living in the Gladstone region by 2030 due to industry developments has many locals wondering how Gladstone will cope.

CEO of the Gladstone Economic and Industry Development Board Dr Ken King stressed on the importance of planning for growth.

“The appropriate process including the development of industry and support services is something we have had a clear focus on in Gladstone over a long period of time,” Mr King said.

“So whilst the figures show an ongoing increase in population, that population will need to be appropriately serviced by development in the region including industrial development and social infrastructure.”

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