The Queensland Plan aims to have 50 per cent of the state’s population live outside the southeast corner by 2034.
The Courier-Mail has revealed that the Newman and Abbott governments have begun initial discussions about developing a quota system aimed at funnelling new arrivals into cities such as Cairns, Townsville and Rockhampton to promote growth.
Queensland’s Premier, Mr Campbell Newman says there is a growing need to alleviate the population pressure in the popular southeast corridor.
“I have actually already had a discussion with the Federal Immigration Minister and we will work on some sort of plan or policy together to try and get people to go as immigrants and refugees to regional Queensland,” said Mr Newman.
Mr Newman said the governments would work together with councils to consider ways to prioritise residency applications for people prepared to live in certain areas.
Queensland governments of the past have tried but failed in similar decentralisation policies as new arrivals continue to flock to Brisbane or the Sunshine Coast.
Poor infrastructure and jobs have been cited as the reasons for this. However Mr Newman says that his Government will start positively discriminating its infrastructure priorities in order to develop regional Queensland. There are also plans to redirect certain state public services to regional Queensland.
About 100,000 people move to Queensland each year including some 30,000 overseas migrants. The state’s population is predicted to rise from 4.5 million to eight million in 30 years.