Rockhampton Regional Council
Drivers of population change
The Rockhampton Region is located in Central Queensland on the Tropic of Capricorn, around 600 kilometres north of Brisbane. The major population centres of the Region is the city of Rockhampton, settlement is relatively sparse outside of this centres with the exception of the historic mining area of Mount Morgan. The Region comprises around 6,600 square kilometres and includes large areas devoted to national parks and state forests. Rural land is used mainly for cattle grazing, pineapple growing, fruit growing, forestry, and mining. Power generation and tourism are also important industries.
European settlement in the Region dates from 1855, after the Archer brothers visited in their quest to find grazing lands. The township of Rockhampton was laid out in 1858, with growth spurred by gold mining and cattle raising. Rockhampton developed as a service centre and river port to the surrounding grazing, mining and farming industries. Growth took place from the 1880s into the early 1900s, aided by improved access, port activities, and the mining of gold, silver and copper at Mount Morgan. The railway west of Rockhampton to Longreach was completed in 1892 and further strengthened Rockhampton’s role as the major regional centre of Central Queensland. By 1921 Rockhampton had grown to 24,000 residents. Until the 1920s, settlement within Rockhampton was mainly south of the Fitzroy River, then growth moved northwards. Significant development occurred from the 1960s. In the post war era, the region has experienced growth from families originating from other areas of Queensland whilst losing young adults to larger urban centres within the State.
Population and household forecasts, 2016 to 2036, prepared by .id the population experts, September 2017.
Note: The migration flows depicted above are historical and do not represent future or forecast migration flows or subsequent council boundary changes. The arrows represent migration flows to the area as a whole and do not indicate an origin or destination for any specific localities within the area. Overseas flow shows overseas arrivals only, based on answers to the census question “where did the person usually live 5-years ago.
Housing role and function
The importance of the Rockhampton Region as a destination for families is expected to continue over the forecast period. As a result of this, there is pressure for residential expansion within the Region from both existing residents and from people moving to the area.
The appeal of the area is a reflection of the climate, the significant amount of residential housing opportunities and employment prospects. Local demand is relatively strong as Rockhampton creates significant numbers of new households (children leaving home) seeking new dwellings. Much of this demand is expected to be met in Gracemere in the short term and Parkhurst in the longer term.
With the variety of residential and rural locations, different areas within Rockhampton Region have developed different roles within the housing market. Areas on the outskirts of Rockhampton such as Gracemere North and South, Norman Gardens and Parkhurst are attractive to young families. Older areas closer to the centre of the CBD such as Allenstown, Berserker & The Common, Rockhampton City & Depot Hill and Park Avenue predominantly appeal to young adults. The rural areas of the Region attract fewer retirees and lose significant numbers of young adults as they seek employment and educational opportunities in larger centres. The variety of function and role of the small areas in the Rockhampton Region means that population outcomes differ significantly across the LGA.
There are also significant differences in the supply of residential property within the LGA which will also have a major influence in structuring different population and household futures within the Region over the next five to ten years. Significant new 'greenfield' opportunities have been identified in Gracemere (North), Gracemere (South), Norman Gardens and Parkhurst. Rockhampton City & Depot Hill is also expected to have some growth in dwellings, based on a number of medium/high-density development opportunities. Most other areas are expected to have some growth in dwellings, but based predominantly on residual residential land, infill of vacant lots and more intense use of land.