Target set to double population outside SEQ by 2044

QUEENSLANDERS have set a challenging target to double the population of regions outside the south-east corner by 2044.

Most of the 80,000 people who helped form The Queensland Plan - a 30-year vision for the state - believe regions are "the engine rooms" of the state.

Queenslanders said regional population growth was a fundamental indicator of the economic health of regions and their competitiveness as places to live.

They want all regions to have a "centre of excellence" for training, innovation and employment

Queenslanders believe local governments have a key role to play in driving this population agenda forward for Queenslanders.

They said councils would have to be innovative and think outside the square about new ways to attract people and jobs.

Premier Campbell Newman will today launch The Queensland Plan at the Local Government Association of Queensland Regional and Economic Conference in Hervey Bay.

The plan - which developed in consultation with 80,000 Queenslanders - is divided into nine foundation areas with 20 targets covering issues such as the economy, regions, education, health and community.

Mr Newman said the plan would shape how Queensland grew and prospered over the next three decades.

"I share Queenslanders' enthusiasm for growing the regions, and our government is planning now for how we deliver the schools, hospitals and other infrastructure needed into the future," he said.

"Everybody has a role to play though, and I encourage councils, businesses, community groups and individuals to consider what they can do to help achieve the goals set out in this plan.

"We will all have to think outside the square about new ways to attract people and jobs if we are to meet the ambitious but important goal of doubling the population of regions..."

Deputy Opposition Leader Tim Mulherin hopes the plan is more than a collection of aspirations and promises that do not have to be kept until 2044.

He said about $4 million had been spent on the plan and people wanted value for money.

"We know that the best way to help Queenslanders do more than just meet the cost of living is to ensure they have real jobs and fair wages and conditions," Mr Mulherin said.

"Queenslanders deserve to see immediate initiatives, not pipedreams that are 30 years away.

"Over 30 years, asset sales will cost $60 billion a year in dividends for a one-off 'sugar hit' of $8 billion that's already been spent on Campbell Newman's bus and train tunnel in the Brisbane CBD, eight dams and much more."

Together union secretary Alex Scott also called on the government to start paying attention to issues Queenslanders were facing today.

"It's no use having a plan for the next 30 years when you haven't got a plan for the next 30 months," he said.

The Queensland Government will issue its response to the plan later this year.

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