Population boom to 'overwhelm coast

By: Jason Whittaker


Revised estimates of Australia’s population growth over the next 40 years will have "dire implications" for the nation’s coastal communities,

Revised estimates of Australia’s population growth over the next 40 years will have "dire implications" for the nation’s coastal communities, lobby group National Sea Change Taskforce claims.

After analysing Federal Treasury estimates the Taskforce says projected growth is likely to increase populations in non-metro coastal areas by up to 90 percent.

The revised Treasury projections indicate the national population will increase to 35 million by 2049, which is 7 million higher than previously thought and 13 million higher than the current population.

Taskforce Executive Director Alan Stokes says at least 4.8 million people will need to be accommodated in non-metro coastal areas, because of limits to the capacity of the capital cities to absorb the expected growth.

"If you add in the million or more ‘baby boomers’ who plan to retire to the coast between 2010 and 2026, this will expand the current population in non-metro coastal areas from 6.4 million to 12.2 million by 2049," Stokes says.

"That is the equivalent of adding more than 11 new Gold Coasts to the population of these communities which already have the highest growth rates in Australia.

"Planning to meet community needs associated with this growth is a matter of great urgency and will require an entirely new collaborative approach by the three spheres of government."

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