The Queensland Greens have called on the LNP Government to use the Census data to drive urgent plans for infrastructure and sustainable development in regional Queensland.
Greens spokesperson, Jim McDonald, said the Census figures reveal an urgent need for the Government to pay more attention to the pressures of population expansion outside Brisbane, especially on the Sunshine Coast.
“The Sunshine Coast has increased by 31,000 residents over the five years since the previous Census. The Newman Government has inherited no firm infrastructure programs to service the social and economic needs of the region.
“But, instead of addressing present growth problems, the Minister for State Development Infrastructure and Planning, Jeff Seeney, has approved the development of a city of 50,000 people on the Sunshine Coast in the Caloundra South Development Scheme.
“The LNP Government accelerates regional growth without any initiatives to improve services while LNP Ministers are obsessed with slashing services to Queenslanders.
“Queensland needs a Government, which has a vision for the State as a sustainable economy supported by twenty-first century infrastructure.
There are no plans for a new post-carbon economy providing real jobs in the regions. Instead, the Premier proclaims Queensland to be 'in the coal business'.
“Meanwhile the Census reveals that the average annual household income on the Sunshine Coast is $12,000 less than the State average. A responsible Government would see this as a signal to get in the business of urgently addressing a looming social and economic disaster in the making.
“Campbell Newman behaves like the Lord Mayor of Queensland with a small-minded vision for the State driven by old fashioned notions of development.
“If the Premier wants to govern responsibly, he will use the Census data to update its information on regional growth. The figures make it imperative that the LNP Government reverses decisions to downgrade critical health services, centralise electricity supply maintenance and penny-pinch on state funded aged care community care in regions such as Townsville.
“The government must address the needs of all Queenslanders in transport infrastructure, sustainable, long-term regional economic development, and accessible services.”