Noosa’s much-vaunted ‘population cap’ has been well and truly blown off after projections for population growth in South-East Queensland (SEQ) were revealed.
The Noosa local government area (LGA) is projected to increase by 18,677 people between 2021 and 2046, based on 56,873 people in 2021 and 75,550 in 2046, the state government has said.
The cap was always held to be around 60,000 but was never legislated by government.
The projections were confirmed ahead of the release of the updated draft SEQ Regional Plan (SEQRP), predicting an overall population increase of more than 2.16 million.
The fabled ‘Noosangatta’ horror scenario, which envisages a near-continuous, 200-plus kilometre metropolis from Noosa to Coolangatta on the Queensland/NSW border appears to take a major step forward under the revised regional plan.
The Sunshine Coast LGA will become home to another 167,616 people to more than half a million (514,264) by 2046, up from 346,648 in 2021, while the Gold Coast LGA will grow from 633,800 two years ago by 381,200 to more than a million people in 2046.
Moreton Bay, the third-largest LGA in Australia, is set to explode with a massive 302,600 people, from 484,400 to 787,000 – more than three-quarters of a million people.
And Brisbane’s LGA population is expected to increase by 457,000 people in 2046 (1,264,000 in 2021 to 1,721,000).
The Noosangatta scenario does not take into account the ongoing coastal suburban sprawl of northern NSW southwards starting at Kingscliff.
Nor does it consider the likely growth south of Gympie, perhaps as far down as Traveston, which is not considered part of the SEQ regional planning area. Gympigatta, anyone?
One caveat has always been the so-called ‘inter-urban break’ between Aura (Caloundra South) and the villages north of Caboolture – but in entirely predictable fashion, property land-banking leviathan Stockland is now campaigning to mass-develop its landholding south of Aura known as Halls Creek, which has been long-resisted even by Sunshine Coast mayor Mark Jamieson due to its potential run-off impact on the RAMSAR-listed wetlands at Pumicestone Passage.
“People are moving to Queensland in droves and who can blame them,” deputy premier Steven Mr Miles said.
“Thanks to all of this, and our great Queensland lifestyle, we’ve seen record levels of net interstate migration and now increasing international immigration.
“Why live in Melbourne when you could live in SEQ?”
Mr Miles said the draft update of the SEQRP would be released “very soon” for feedback.
More on this story soon here in Noosa Matters.