Redland City’s population growth rate dips

Redland City housing

Population growth in Redland City

Redland City’s population growth has slowed dramatically according to a recent report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The latest population estimates raise questions about the planning assumptions being used by Redland City Council for its new planning scheme, City Plan 2015.

As at 30 June 2014, Redland City’s “Estimated Resident Population” was 148,641. This is an increase of 1,359 over the previous year’s figure.

The annual increase in Redland City’s population was 0.9%, the lowest for many years. This continues a clear trend for the City’s population growth to slow down, with average annual growth over the past 5 years being just 1.2%.

Over the past decade Queensland’s population has always grown more quickly than the population of Redland City. But in the last three years, Queensland’s average population growth rate (1.8%) has far outstripped that of the Redlands (1.1%).

Annual Population Growth rates Qld and Redlands to June 2014
This chart is prepared from data included in ABS Report 3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2013-14 released on 31 March 2015.

Population growth forecasts

Population data influences planning decisions made by State and local governments. Historical data is used as a baseline for long term forecasts of population growth. These growth projections are used to determine how much land may need to be available for new or redeveloped housing. Small changes in assumed growth rates can have significant impacts on long term forecasts.
urbis logo
Redland City Council has been advised that its new planning scheme, City Plan 2015, should provide for a 50,000 population increase. This assumption is part of the  Redlands Land Supply Review 2014  by Urbis.

Urbis states in its report that “the long term growth rate for the Redland City Council area is 1.2% per annum”. (Page 19). In its report Urbis fails to comment on the implications if growth is greater or lesser than this figure. Modelling by Redlands2030 reveals that if the assumed growth rate is increased or decreased by 0.1% the City’s forecast population in 2041 varies by about 6,000 people. This is equivalent to adding or subtracting a new suburb.

Population projections in the Urbis report are only given for five year intervals. Analysis of the available figures indicates that Urbis has used a higher growth rate in earlier years and lower growth rates for the later years, as shown in the chart below.

The high growth rate projections used by Urbis for the period to 2021 now appear to be quite inconsistent with the City’s average growth rate over the past three years of 1.1%.

It is most concerning that planning for  Redland City’s long term development may be based on population forecasts that now seem outdated and which may overstate the number of people that need to be accommodated.

Urbis’s population forecasts are based on projections made by Queensland Treasury in 2013. Urbis notes that it has corrected an “anomaly” in Treasury’s forecasts by using more accurate baseline data sourced from the 2011 Census.

Long term analysis should be based on multiple scenarios with discussion about key assumptions and their probability of occurrence.The Queensland Treasury provided its population projections as three series: high, medium and low. The Urbis report is based on just a single projection which is almost 100% certain to be wrong.

Redland City appears to have a shaky foundation for its 25 year City Plan.

Urbis population growth rates forecasts
This chart shows how the Urbis population growth forecasts vary over time. The average growth rates for each five year period have been calculated approximately, based on the five year data points provided by Urbis. For comparison, the red line plots the annual average population growth that actually occurred in Redland City over the past five years.

Redlands2030 – 8 April 2015

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6 thoughts on “Redland City’s population growth rate dips

  1. Anyone listening to Steve Austin on the ABC radio would have heard about the Traffic problems affecting the whole of SE Qld. The hyways in and out Brisbane are gridlocked morning and night and people are spending 3 days a year sitting in their cars. Who to blame? planners who got it wrong?, governments who duering the boom gave out middleclass welfare and tax breaks instead of spending it on infrastructure? State governments who gave a free hand to councils to build, build,. and build while taking away the rights of citizens to stop over development?.Councillors and Mayors who take donations from developers and push new developments for their mates. It is no good Mayors moaning about no roads and traffic jambs when they are approving new estates for thousands of people in the middle of nowhere.

    • Luke roads becoming more conjested, the schools in growth areas are covering their ovals with demountables, our bushland being flattened, less parks in new subdivisions, lack of public transport in new developments, blocks of land getting smaller, roads getting narrower in new estates, and developers are becoming more wealthy and more powerful. Communites disillusioned by donations from developers being given to certain elected members , where des it all end, and all the time the residents pay the price

  2. Mayor Williams and her sheep are not interested in the facts and Qld Treasury Stats, the ongoing story from developers that there is no land left to house our proposed population is spin and nothing more. Urbis and some Council staff who unfortunately are not employed by Redland Council anymore due to their outspokeness have for many years told Councils regularly that Redlands has enough land till 2032, there is enough land inside the urban footprint to accommodate our expected population, but developers buy cheap rural land outside of the urban footprint, Shoreline is a good example and then they want the Council to give them Residential zoning, donations for elections flow into some coffers and then we see the golden egg laid on some properties.
    Sadly the Mayor and her sheep forget to advise the community of the great cost to the ratepayers imposed by these developments, the developers only pay about $28,000 per lot and the rest paid by the community, in some developments the costs will be $110,000 per lot
    The developers are in many cases the house builders also, so it’s a closed shop. The developers release a few blocks at a time to hold the price high and claim they are overwhelmed by sales but they have run out so need to have more rezone.
    Council should not have any land in the proposed Planning Scheme outside of the urban footprint if by chance land in Southern Redland Bay and land south of Boundary Road is included in the Scheme then I would expect an investigation connected to approvals and donations and who was behind CRRA

  3. This is bad news for the Mayor and her development-crazed mates. I note that Queensland’s overall growth rate has slowed signifcantly. In Logan they have the prospect of two new cities: Yarrabilba and Flagstone on the horizon. This is pure madness, particularly as there is no supporting infrastructure. This development frenzy is purely a Ponzi scheme in which the cost impost is overwhelming and can only be funded by future cash flows. Why is that the tax/rate payer has to fund these crazy projects? if they are viable then the developers should willingly pay for the entire upfront cost. When will this madness end?

  4. It has also been noted in the URBIS report included above that the available vacant residential land on the Bay Islands represents 10% of immediately available land in the Redlands and this needs to be taken into consideration before the Shoreline development is passed for approval at anytime in the next 5 years. If you combine this fact with a slowing population increase into the Redlands then council needs to comply with these issues before any further large scale developments allowed.

  5. There is certainly NOT a decline in population growth on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands. The ever increasing overcrowded ferries are the best evidence, and living proof.

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