GALLERY: Rocky mayor says region is neither 'boom nor bust'
I have recently been going back over old State Government records trying to understand the growth of regional cities in Queensland.
The recent writer of a 'Letter to the Editor' commented that Rockhampton had once been the second largest city in Queensland (behind Brisbane).
And indeed we were.
I have been looking at some statistics based on Local Government areas prior to 2008.
Records show that in 1933 we had a population of 29,369 and the closest contender was Townsville at 25,876.
The figures started to change in the late forties/early fifties with both Ipswich and Townsville eclipsing us. And by the early seventies we were roughly 50,000. Logan City was 87,000 and Ipswich and Townsville had continued to leave us in the dust.
But the really dramatic changes occurred in the 1980s. The growth of Ipswich and Logan and the Southeast generally was meteoric during this period and hasn't stopped since.
And Mackay, Townsville/Thuringowa and Cairns all took off. And it would be a fair guess that we could attribute the growth in these Cities to mining, military and tourism respectively.
Rockhampton meanwhile held to the steady growth pattern which we have come to call our 'neither boom nor bust' economy.
We are renewing our CBD, putting a new focus on innovation in technology, and investing in industrial opportunities and economic development.
To same extent I would argue this will really only keep our growth pattern steady into the new economy and the new future.
The big jumps in population that I see as possible on the horizon are Adani and perhaps investment from Southeast Asia.