Challenges of Building Inland in Queensland

Classic suburban houses in Queensland

Challenges of Building Inland in Queensland

Queensland is a massive state with the majority of its 5 million people concentrated in areas around Brisbane, the state capital, and along the coastline. With the projected population increases and the urban sprawl that this is expected to generate (not only in Brisbane but throughout Southeast Queensland), there’s been a renewed focus on building in inland Queensland and the opportunities that urban and rural development in the region present.

Why Develop Inland Queensland?

Urban sprawl and the issues relating to population increases, including clogged motorways, rising rental rates and housing affordability, are cited as the #1 reason why developing inland Queensland is such an issue. However, there are many reasons for building inland, including:

  • Meeting increased demands for education, healthcare services and employment. With careful urban planning and development, and economic initiatives that encourage increased development, relocating to large but rural towns in Queensland would be more appealing to those in a position to move. Such changes are already taking place in NSW, with lively rural centres like Orange experiencing strong population, infrastructure and services growth.
  • Strong inland regions help to build a strong country. While Australia is shifting from a primary resources-based economy to a services and knowledge-based economy, it’s important to understand that exports from regional areas still comprise over 50% of Australia’s merchandise exports. By developing regional areas in inland Queensland and creating more jobs in these areas, both the government and private sectors would benefit economically, as would the state and country.

While there are major benefits to building inland and many opportunities to capitalise on, there are also a number of planning, development, economic and environmental challenges that must be addressed.

The Challenges Of Building Inland

The challenges that the government and private sector face in developing and building in inland Queensland are profuse, but the opportunities presented make addressing and overcoming these challenges the highest priority.

  • Droughts and water supply. Inland Queensland is a hot, dry and barren place, and droughts and water shortages have long been challenges for most of the interior. The Bradfield Scheme is a notable example of an effort to provide the interior with more water, and there have been calls from a number of politicians in recent years to attempt a modern version of the scheme. However, there are many environmental risks involved in water diversion schemes and the costs involved are too high to see such a scheme implemented any time soon.
  • Lack of infrastructure. Most of inland Queensland suffers from a lack of infrastructure, making the prospect of setting up large scale commercial development unappealing to private sector parties. Until the government invests more heavily in regional infrastructure, especially transport and railways, successfully encouraging businesses to relocate to inland Queensland or invest in the region is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

At Arnold Development Consultants, we have a wealth of regional and strategic planning experience and welcome all enquiries about the town planning and regional development services we provide. To speak with a consultant about your development project, please contact your local Arnolds regional office.