FUTURE FORUM: The inaugural Gladstone Future CQ breakfast was held at Yaralla Sports Club yesterday.
FUTURE FORUM: The inaugural Gladstone Future CQ breakfast was held at Yaralla Sports Club yesterday. Matt Taylor GLA200319FCQB

Leaders discuss demographer's insights into what's next

GLADSTONE residents and businesspeople yesterday had a glimpse into what the region could look like by 2030.

Yesterday's Future CQ event was aimed at generating discussion around what Gladstone needs to become a thriving community into the future.

The event focused on the findings of leading demographer Bernard Salt into what the region could look like in 2030, with growth proving a hot topic.

Among the inclusions in Mr Salt's analysis was a State Government projection that estimated Gladstone's population would only increase by 2 per cent by 2030.

Discussing the findings were a panel including Gladstone Industry Leadership Group CEO Patrick Hastings, Roseberry Community Services general manager Colleen Tribe, CQUniversity associate vice-chancellor for the Gladstone region Professor Owen Nevin and Gladstone Region mayor Matt Burnett.

 

The panel agreed the region needed a higher growth rate to attract funding and investment in infrastructure and business.

Mr Salt said Gladstone's growth outlook was an issue and has challenged residents and all levels of government to recast their thinking to prove the forecast wrong.

"The resultant questions for Central Queensland, and for Gladstone, is quite simple: are you done? Or do you think that your city and community have more to offer?" he said.

"Gladstone is a go-ahead can-do kinda place that attracts workers, that accommodates families, that well understands how to build communities and that is far from done.

"Recast your thinking, State Government of Queensland, and set about envisioning the kind of society that this state might be, and the muscle you might need in order to create a bigger Gladstone."

Yesterday's business breakfast launched The Observer's editorial campaign on a stronger future for Gladstone.

Observer general manager David Richardson said the paper would run a series of editorial packages to highlight focal points that could help the region's growth.

"This inaugural Future CQ forum is a way to encourage you to think about and debate the requirements for successful communities and a stronger region," he said.

The first part of the series will appear in Saturday's edition of The Observer.