Population rethink for Gladstone
IN another Labor backflip and in an attempt to distance herself from predecessor Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has rejected his stance on population growth.
Mr Rudd last year said he believed in a “big Australia” but his former deputy does not agree.
Ms Gillard said sustainable growth should be the policy priority, as opposed to just letting the country “hurtle” towards a population of 36 million or 40 million.
“I don't believe in a big Australia,'' she told the Nine Network on Sunday.
“Kevin Rudd indicated that he had a view about a big Australia. I'm indicating a different approach.
“I think we want an Australia that is sustainable.”
The concerns raised centre on the amount of infrastructure needed to accommodate and service such a population increase.
But what about Gladstone?
The Gladstone region population is expected to double by 2030 with approximately 50,000 more people making Gladstone their home.
Besides basic infrastructure, estimates demonstrate that to accommodate the population influx expected, approximately 20,000 homes will need to be built throughout the Gladstone region over the next 20 years.
The Gladstone Economic and Industry Development Board's Chief Executive Leisa Dowling said she was interested in what the new prime minister's framework would be.
“A lot of planning work is being undertaken to ensure it (infrastructure) is planned properly and there are stages in that process to cope with the demand that comes on,” Ms Dowling said.
“It's difficult to predict, because it could be that all projects are happening at once or just one or two.
“It's a difficult project to get your head around as to what the options could be.”