Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale
Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale Sarah Harvey

Regions' growth powers ahead

THE Somerset and Ipswich regions have been the population powerhouses of south-east Queensland.

The neighbouring council areas experienced the highest population growth rate in the south-east corner and some of the highest in the state, according to a report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

According to the Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2010-11, measuring growth across the nation from June 2010 to June 30, 2011, the Somerset region was the third fastest-growing local government area in the state with 2.94% growth, with Ipswich only marginally behind with 2.93%.

Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said he hoped a growing population would attract investment into the region.

"You need this population to attract better business to the area," he said.

"There is the customer base here now and a ready-made work force.

"The reason people are moving here is because it's an absolutely beautiful place to live."

Cr Lehmann said he expected the region to continue to remain at the top of future lists due to the booming towns of Fernvale and Lowood.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said the challenge to high growth rates was implementing appropriate infrastructure.

"That's fantastic to have that level of growth," he said.

"But it's not about being number one, two or four, it's about growth management.

"It's about keeping our unemployment down while our population is going up."

Cr Pisasale said the council and State Government were faced with the challenge of providing the necessary infrastructure to cope with population growth.

"It's not about dividing land, it's about creating communities," he said.

Only the Cook Shire in the state's far north and the Gladstone region experienced greater population growth than Somerset and Ipswich councils.

The Lockyer Valley had the third highest growth rate in the south-east, experiencing 2.3% growth over the same period, while the Scenic Rim region grew by 1%.

The majority of growth in Ipswich occurred in the city's eastern suburbs, while 80% of the Somerset's growth was due to a boom in Esk's population.

The West Moreton statistical division as a whole was the fastest growing area in the south-east corner of the state.

Only the Scenic Rim's growth rate was below the state average of 1.66%.

The report stated Queensland's population as of June 30, 2011 was 4,580,000.

The report is the final one to be based on the 2006 census.

First estimates from the 2011 census are due to be released on July 31.

State's Top five

  • Cook Shire 6.37%
  • Gladstone 3.51%
  • Somerset 2.94%
  • Ipswich 2.93%
  • Western Downs 2.56%

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