POPULATION BOOM: Mayor Gail Sellers says by 2031 our population is likely to exceed the population of the Rockhampton region, and by 2036 the population is forecast to exceed the population of the Bundaberg region.
POPULATION BOOM: Mayor Gail Sellers says by 2031 our population is likely to exceed the population of the Rockhampton region, and by 2036 the population is forecast to exceed the population of the Bundaberg region. Brenda Strong

Gladstone needs more lifestyle choices to grow: analysis

FORGET location, location, location.

Gladstone needs lifestyle, lifestyle, lifestyle to keep attracting 1658 new residents a year.

That is the assessment of the city by one of the country's leading population and economy experts.

Analysis of new Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows the region's population grew by 16,580 people from 2004-2014.

Gladstone is now home to 66,097 people compared to 49,517 residents in 2004.

The region's reliance on the resources sector stands it in good stead economically, but if it wants to retain residential growth it must offer more lifestyle choices, resource economist John Rolfe said.

"Gladstone's problem is there are jobs there but not everyone wants the lifestyle," the CQUniversity School of Business and Law professor said.

"It needs to offer services, make sure housing is available at reasonable cost, have a lot of lifestyle factors, make sure it's attractive to live in and diversify jobs and opportunities.

"It's one thing to provide a job in the resources sector but you also need jobs for partners and teenage kids to attract families."

The Gladstone region had Queensland's fastest growth in 2012/13, but it dropped to the second fastest in 2013/14.

According to the region's council the growth rate of 4% was much higher than the projected rate of 2.9%.

Mayor Gail Sellers said the council was prepared to manage and sustain growth across the region.

"Council's plans for managing growth, which include the planning scheme, long-term financial plan and capital works programs are geared at the projected long-term growth rate," she said.

Cr Sellers said more jobs, particularly through the Gladstone Port and State Development Area, would help bring more people to the area.

Our region:

  •  10,465.8sq km.
  •  66,097 residents.
  •  Between 2004-2014, it attracted about 1658 new residents a year.
  •  City planners hope to have 102,600 residents by 2025.

                 - SOURCE: ABS, Gladstone Regional Council