Cairns' five-year growth soars
CAIRNS has recorded one of the biggest five-year population growth rates in Australia. Do you think we need more people in Cairns? Or is our population big enough?
Australian Bureau of Statistic figures, released yesterday, show that the population went from 121,900 to 147,100, a 3.8 per cent increase in the five years to June last year.
These figures were counted before the impact of global financial crisis and the downturn to the local tourism
and construction industries.
An ABS spokeswoman said Cairns had the fastest population growth rate of cities with a population of more than 100,000 people.
Cairns Regional Council Mayor Val Schier said newly arrived couples and families choose the city for its lifestyle, environment, charm and for friendly people.
"While growth has slowed in the past 12 months Cairns certainly has the highest average annual growth for five years prior," Cr Schier said.
"We do have some optimistic signs that the worst is over."
Cr Schier said council would be planning hard for any future infrastructure plans.
But Urban Development Institute of Australia Queensland president Warren Harris holds grave concerns for the Cairns construction sector.
He says dwelling approvals across Queensland were on a "knife-edge to plummet again".
"Demand will weaken as rising interest rates continue to bite and Queensland’s population growth slows due to a reduction in international and interstate migration," Mr Harris said.
Cairns economist Bill Cummings said building approval rates were still relatively low.
"As the year progresses, the underlying situation will improve," Mr Cummings said.
"Cairns has had strong growth and it comes as strong spurts but we are currently in a slow growth period but I expect that after the wet season confidence will start to return."
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