Developers use new report to warn of FIFO trend

BUILD THE BASIN: Surat Basin Property Group has commissioned a major research project hoped to prove the longevity of the resource boom and the need for continued housing development approvals.
BUILD THE BASIN: Surat Basin Property Group has commissioned a major research project hoped to prove the longevity of the resource boom and the need for continued housing development approvals. Harry Clarke

DEVELOPERS are warning local and state governments that the Surat Basin's fly-in-fly-out population will become an irreversible trend if immediate measures are not taken to approve residential developments across the region.

The Surat Basin Property Group has commissioned what they say is the first complete study into the long term population growth expected from the region's resource boom.

Projections in the report, which was carried out by resource industry strategists MacroPlan Dimasi, suggest rapid growth could continue in the region or at least another 30 years.

Head of sales and marketing at SBPG Wayne McPhee admits the company has a vested interest in the findings but said the wider community stood to benefit from housing approvals because they would ease rental market pressures and allow more people to move to the region permanently.

"This is first time any organisation has actually pulled together the numbers from the various gas companies and then applied economic formulas," Mr McPhee said.

"(The study) gives us is a pretty clear indication of future growth and the requirements for housing and we are a bit behind in accommodating the growth in our residential areas.

"Action needs to be taken almost immediately to overcome this or else it will go beyond the point of being able to claw back.

"If the council decides that they are not going to spend money on infrastructure ... then the communities will see more FIFO camps."

However, Western Downs mayor Ray Brown said a hurried solution to housing pressures and development was neither practical nor economically feasible.

"It would be lovely to have everything overnight but someone has to pay for it," Cr Brown said.

"We've got $116 million to spend on water sewerage just for Chinchilla and Miles in our 10-year plan, but you just don't pull that out of your back pocket.

"Crystal ball gazing is great but we've got to put a reality check in place.

"We know a lot of developers would love to see a lot of things done for their reasons but we have to make sure everything's done for community's reason."

Topics:  approvals boom chinchilla developers development estate fifo housing mining residential surat

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