Community & Business

17 April, 2024

Tablelands lures newcomers

THE biggest rise in population growth for nearly two decades has been recorded for Tablelands Regional Council, with the local government area experiencing 1.7% growth in the year ending 30 June 2023.

■ Population now 27,259 ■ 238 people came from overseas ■ 1871 from other parts of Australia ■ 257 babies born in the 12-month period
■ Population now 27,259 ■ 238 people came from overseas ■ 1871 from other parts of Australia ■ 257 babies born in the 12-month period

In the same period, Mareeba Shire Council notched up 1.4% growth, coming off a high of 1.7% in 2019-20, and taking its overall population to 23,702, while TRC now has a population of 27,259.

Compared to 2015 and 2016 when TRC reported just a 0.2% and 0.4% rise in population, the latest figures reflect the best growth the area has recorded since at least 2006 and are good news for Mayor Rod Marti.

“I can understand why our region is growing. We have a fantastic climate, envious lifestyle, a growing economy and strong and vibrant communities,” he said.

“There are so many reasons why people choose to live here but liveability, affordability, country lifestyle, clean air, proximity to Cairns and Townsville, a strong economic base, job opportunities, services (including a new hospital and brilliant Indigenous health facility), sporting clubs, community groups, cool climate, natural assets, strong communities, the Tablelands University Centre and other services and facilities are just some of the things that make our region attractive.

“Crime and safety are also important when people are people deciding where to live. We have some of the lowest crime rate in the region compared to Cairns, Mareeba and Cassowary Coast.”

Mayor Marti says the growth does present some challenges for the council and puts pressure on housing availability but council was doing what it could to stimulate the construction sector such as offering incentives for housing developments.

“We have been proactive in our efforts to facilitate housing delivery. Planning processes are efficient and aim to meet the rapid needs of housing delivery highlighted by the approval of 48 lots within 15 business days,” he said.

“Nearly 200 lots and 40 units have been approved in the last year, showing we are meeting the demand demonstrated by the ABS data. We have major residential developments occurring in Atherton, Tolga, Malanda and Yungaburra.

“Growth can put pressure on resources, including land, infrastructure, housing and services, so we need logical and sensible planning and infrastructure investment that ensures population growth contributes positively to the region’s substantiality and long-term prosperity. 

“We have been actively working on meeting this growth and ensuring growth is positive for our region. We will shortly embark on a review of our planning scheme to ensure it continues to meet these outcomes.”

Mayor Marti also believes it critical for the area to provide improved recreational facilities to attract more people.

“Vibrant communities need people of all ages for long-term economic stability. Families with young children are a source of economic growth because they are high spenders – they require services (eg. daycare, schools, sporting clubs, etc) that build our economy and community,” he said.

“Projects like the Priors Creek Development, Battery Park and Millaa Millaa Falls are important to maintaining the Tablelands lifestyle and ensuring our community has access to great resources and experiences that help them to stay happy and healthy.”


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