17,750 more people by 2030
THE population of the Clarence Valley could grow by the equivalent of three Yambas or another Grafton within the next 20 years, according to the Clarence Valley Council.
Council deputy general manager Des Schroder said Department of Planning figures suggested that by the year 2030 there would be an additional 7100 dwellings in the Valley.
With an average of 2.5 residents per dwelling, that is an extra 17,750 residents.
The growth appears to be spread across the Clarence Valley, with land releases occurring from Yamba to Clarenza.
Mr Schroder said close to 5000 housing lots would be coming onto the market soon.
This included 1100-plus in west Yamba, 350 at Clarenza (with another 650 to come later), 1000 at Junction Hill, between 800 and 1000 in the Gulmarrad and Townsend area, about 300 on the hill in South Grafton, and 300-400 at James Creek.
Mr Schroder said the Valley population had been growing at a rate of about 500 a year, but that was likely to accelerate as neighbouring areas ran out of land available for housing development.
“Lismore, for example, has got nowhere to go,” he said.
An added drawcard for the Clarence, he said, was that it had a reliable water supply, and most of the sewerage infrastructure was being upgraded.
Improved road connections to Brisbane and southern Queensland also made the area more attractive.
He said the council was also making more industrial land available in areas like Swallow Road, South Grafton, Koolkhan and near the Grafton airport.
Clarence Environment Centre spokesman John Edwards said the expansion could put enormous pressure on the environment.
The council, he said, needed to manage that growth very carefully.
He said growth in places like Clarenza and Junction Hill might not pose too many environmental risks, as both areas had been cleared previously.
But there were other areas, like Nymboida, where rural residential subdivision was still permissible and extensive clearing could occur, creating substantial environmental pressure.
“It all depends on how the council handles it,” he said.
He said he was happy the council was trying to encourage higher-density residential developments and encouraged people to consider their work and travel commitments before deciding on their house location.
He said many of the new residents of places like Gulmarrad worked in Grafton and they faced a daily round trip of about 100km.
With one person working and another having to collect children from school or do shopping, that meant most families would need two cars.
“There are no decent bus services, and eventually fuel prices will skyrocket,” he said.
Growth at a glance
7100 extra dwellings by 2030
17,750 extra residents by 2030
Land releases at
350 (eventually 1000)
South Grafton hill