Population increase likely to present a challenge for Peel region

Photo: Tony Tropiano.
Photo: Tony Tropiano.

New population projections for the upcoming decade could present future challenges for the Peel region.

Research recently commissioned by Regional Development Australia (RDA) Peel indicate significant, rapid growth across all age groups in the region.

The total population of the Peel region is expected to exceed 212,000 by 2031, which is an increase of around 80,000 residents from 2016.

In this time frame, the number of children aged between 0-14 years old is expected to jump by 64 per cent while there is an expected increase in the working age population (15-64 years old) of 59 per cent and a 63 per cent increase in over 65s.

The largest increases are forecast to come in the 80-84 years old age group, which is set to rise by 96 per cent or almost 3000 residents, and the over 85 age group, which is expected to increase by 88 per cent or more than 2300 residents.

The figures are reflected in the Perth and Peel@3.5million land use planning and infrastructure frameworks.

The changes are likely to result in a growing demand for population-driven goods and services including aged care, childcare, healthcare and education, as well as a range of service-based industries from hospitality to retail.

RDA Peel Chair John Erren said the expected increases would present a challenge for the Peel region.

"Although these are not absolute predictions, they do provide a useful insight into the region's future population," he said.

"It will place pressure on planning services and decision making and our sensitive environment.

"RDA will continue to work to identify the impacts of this potential population increase on our region."

Peel Development Commission chair Paddi Creevey agreed, adding that agencies and organisations would need to work together to tackle the challenges and pay "close attention" as the population grows.

"As we have seen in the past, rapid population growth certainly presents challenges," she said.

"Careful planning for infrastructure, service delivery, accommodation and environmental impact are important considerations in protecting lifestyle values into the future, creating liveable environments and communities that are great to live in."

However, Ms Creevey said those challenges would also present an opportunity to learn and adapt accordingly to future possibilities.

"We are well placed to address these challenges - planning reform is underway and there is an urgency to get this right," she said.

"There are employment opportunities based on projected growth figures in the health and aged care sectors in the region and opportunities for youth employment and cultural diversity.

"We can support and build the opportunities in employment, economic and industry development that this growth also brings. We can create and develop different industries and businesses."

For more information, visit the RDA Peel website.