In 2019 Queensland had the highest number of people moving from interstate, along with Victoria and Tasmania also showing positive numbers. Once the coronavirus travel restrictions are lifted, this trend will probably continue but at a more subdued rate due to the economic slowdown.

Source: ‘Interstate Movements’, matusik.com.au

Source: ‘Interstate Movements’, matusik.com.au

The map above shows Queensland had a net inflow of new residents from every state in Australia except Tasmania. Primary attractions for people moving to Queensland include:

Lifestyle – enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle by moving from the suburbs of Sydney or Melbourne to the beach or the hinterland, and reduce commuting time

Affordable property prices – interstate buyers can sometimes sell a two bedroom unit in Sydney and purchase a waterfront property here for the same price or less, making the move to Queensland financially beneficial

Employment – Queensland has experienced economic growth in recent years, particularly in construction, education, health care, and financial services (australianjobs.employment.gov.au/jobs-location/queensland)

 

The table below shows the overall population increase for Queensland in the 2018-2019 period was 85,680 and included interstate migration, births, and arrivals from overseas.

Source:  ‘Population growth highlights and trends, Queensland, 2020 edition’, Queensland Government Statistician’s Office.

 

Does increasing population result in property values increasing? Yes generally, but supply of available properties also needs to be considered. In a location where there are a lot of new land sub-divisions taking place, the population could increase but prices could remain the same as supply and demand are balanced, eg. Toowoomba. An article titled ‘The population paradox: Why more people doesn’t always mean higher prices’ on domain.com.au explains this very well.

 

But what are the disadvantages of an increasing population? Mainly pressure on infrastructure (like roads, schools, hospitals, electricity), services (such as water supply, garbage disposal, sewerage) and the environment (air & water pollution, loss of habitat for koalas and other animals due to land clearing). So an increasing population may result in economic gains but a loss of lifestyle (‘Environment the biggest loser as Australia’s population hits 25 million’ independentaustralia.net).

 

At a national level, do we need growth for growth’s sake? In New Zealand, the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has implemented policies to move away from a ‘jobs and growth’ approach to ‘focusing on goals like community and cultural connection and well-being across generations.’ (‘Challenging the dogma of GDP and population growth’ independentaustralia.net).

 

This is where important debates can occur around town planning, environmental conservation, population density, quality of life, and other related topics. What do you think? Is population growth good for our children and grandchildren in terms of education and employment opportunities, or is it bad for lifestyle and the environment?

 

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