Fraser Coast Property Industry Association

AS WE Navigate the post-COVID landscape, Fraser Coast is experiencing a transformative population boom.

Pre-pandemic, our population stood at approximately 106,796.

Fast forward just four years, and this number has surged to 118,505.

With projections originally set for 130,706 by 2041, current trends suggest we could see numbers between 150,000 and 160,000 within 20 years. This rapid growth isn’t just a statistic; it’s a clarion call for urgent action. The average age in our community has increased from 48 to 51 years during the pandemic, indicating a shift towards an older demographic. This demographic shift requires us to rethink our housing strategy. Moving beyond traditional houses to more diverse living options that cater to an aging population. However, the most pressing challenge lies in our infrastructure.

Current planning still relies on outdated pre-COVID growth figures, leaving essential services like health, roads, schools, sports, community facilities and town planning underprepared for the future. This oversight could significantly impact our quality of life and the economic vitality of the Fraser Coast.

Moreover, we must address the exodus of our youth. As our brightest leave for opportunities elsewhere, our region risks stagnation. The recent decisions, such as the Scarness Caravan Park development, underscore a missed opportunity to create spaces that attract and retain young people. Blending local charm with modern attractions. It could have been a lagoon pool, nightlife and entertainment precinct, bustling with restaurants, parks and things to do for the younger generation. Instead we catered for the retired visitors.

To secure a thriving future, we must embrace change. Innovate our approach to urban planning, and build a community that holds promise for all ages.

The time to act is now, ensuring that Hervey Bay not only grows but thrives.

Published in the Hervey Bay Advertiser 2 May 2024

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