REGIONAL centres could be left in the dust with Sydney expected to host 70 per cent of the state’s population by 2042, Australian Bureau of Statistics data reveals.
Connectivity and infrastructure deficits need to be addressed by the state and federal governments to draw in more residents Tamworth Regional Council mayor Col Murray said.
“Then there’s the other sporting infrastructure and social infrastructure, and intimate projects we’re looking at like our aquatics centre, our performing arts centre,” he said.
“They’re the sort of projects we’re going to need to make our city genuinely livable and accommodate growth,” he said.
The data assumes what population growth will look like by 2066 if past fertility, mortality and migration trends continue.
Council has just signed up to regional promotion program Evocities for another four years at a $300,000 price tag in the hopes of convincing more city slickers to make a tree change.
The number of elderly people aged 85 and over is expected to double in Australia in the next 25 years and Cr Murray said Tamworth needs to prepare for an ageing population.
“We’ve got to ensure that we have all the minor components that make Tamworth a desirable place to retire in old age and there’s some evidence that’s happening pretty well at the moment,” he said.
“I think it comes down in a lot of cases simply to a lifestyle choice providing job opportunities are there, cost of housing in the capital cities is a big motivator for moves and when you look at the Evocities project statistics there is an appetite for that.”
For the rest of NSW, the ABS projects the population will grow from 2.7 million in 2017 up to 3 million in 2027.
It should help grow regions where job vacancies are hard to fill, Population Minister Alan Tudge said.
“It’s about improving how we manage population growth in Australia, so we can get the balance right,” he said.
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