The Australian Bureau of Statistics indicates Australia’s population growth rate is approx 1.4% or 300,000 people a year as calculated from births, deaths and net migration.
At this rate the population is set to double in the next 50 years.
It is expected, by 2050, half the world’s population or 4 billion people will be located in the Asian region to the north of Australia. In close proximity there will be 300 million potential consumers.
With this significant increase will come a commensurate demand for water, food, housing and all forms of infrastructure in coastal and city environs.
Ironically most inland towns are currently experiencing negative or no significant growth and communities feel they need more people to keep their towns viable.
Within the project regions the inland population base is approx 19,000 and average growth since 2006 has been (-0.2%).
Councils in remote rural areas will struggle to increase revenue from rates alone and will remain dependent on a drip feed of grants from State and Federal governments. Clearly, Councils are keen to welcome water and new agricultural enterprises to their shires along with a commensurate growth in population.
Some Gulf Savannah Shires are bordering on being classified as disadvantaged. They are welfare reliant, have low skills and low education levels, low incomes and low levels of home ownership and a large percentage of the population (up to 38%) is indigenous.