Bernard Salt.
Bernard Salt.

Salt examines mining town pressure

LEADING demographic commentator Bernard Salt will present his core findings of a year-long socio-economic study today at the Moranbah Community Centre.

Mr Salt was commissioned by the Isaac Regional Council to investigate and review the impact the transient population had on the region in line with the mining boom gripping the Bowen Basin.

The full findings of the report are expected to increase numbers released late last year which found the IRC region was buckling under the pressure of the transient population influx. IRC Mayor Cedric Marshall said the full report would assist the council in future planning structures.

"The proof is in the report that we've always said has been the case in the region," Mr Marshall said.

"It will help us with planning with the upper levels of both the local and state governments.

"It will also fix up the shortfalls experienced in the region."

Cr Marshall said the new figures would accurately define the shortage of essential services such as doctors, nurses, police and ambulance officers, and childcare centres.

Last year's resident population was estimated at 23,030 with a 19,800 transient population total, which equated to the council catering for a population not anticipated until 2042.

According to the study, the region's population was expected to increase by more than 40% this year alone, which made it the fifth largest growing municipality in the country.

Significant pressure was placed on existing infrastructure and services which would continue throughout the duration of the Bowen Basin's mining boom.

"The fact is that a community stretched by resident and non-resident or 'phantom' population seems to find ways around the problem: the IRC's middle class often travels to Mackay or Brisbane to visit a dentist and for orthodontic services," the previously released report's executive summary said.

"But this behaviour merely accelerates the outsourcing of essential services."

The Managing Change, Measuring Growth presentation begins at 11am at the community centre on Batchelor Parade, Moranbah.


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