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REIQ Journal : July 2008
8 Industry News Hiring confidence in the real estate sector shifts The recent Manpower Employment Outlook Survey indicates the employment prospects for job seekers in the real estate sector may well be softer than they have been for the past two years as business leaders intend to hire fewer staff. Public input sought on new FNQ regional plan The State Government has called for community help to shape Far North Queensland’s future with the release of the Far North Queensland Regional Draft Plan 2025 – a blueprint that will guide development in the region over the next two decades. The plan is the first statutory regional plan to be launched outside the State’s south-east and the first of five such plans due in draft form this year. It aims to cater for regional population growth without compromising natural assets or allowing urban sprawl. The draft plan shows: Far North Queensland is predicted to be home to 323,000 people by 2025 (an extra 5,000 people and 2,000 new homes every year); About three-quarters of the region’s 100,000 new residents will settle in the Cairns area; The Regional Landscape and Rural Production Area takes up approximately 99.4 per cent of the region or 7,236,697 hectares; The urban footprint comprises 0.4 per cent or 27,076 hectares and the rural living area comprises 0.2 per cent or 8,426 hectares; Growth will be concentrated at a new masterplanned community at REIQ Journal July 2008 Mount Peter – the area between Edmonton and Gordonvale, west of the Bruce Highway; The 1,550-hectare Mt Peter site has been identified as the last remaining land in the Cairns area with few natural constraints; and It could provide a mix of housing types and densities for up to 50,000 people and will be supported by a new town centre and enterprise precinct at Edmonton. The draft plan shows there is enough land near Cairns and regional towns to cope with population growth up to 2025. Therefore, areas identified in the previous plan as likely future regional settlement centres – such as Myola and Clohesy-Koah – will not be required until after 2025. “I encourage everyone in this spectacular and diverse region to have a say – it’s your home and your future. It’s about us all planning for our future and managing our growth,” Premier Anna Bligh said. Copies of the draft plan are available on the website, at regional council offices and the Department of Infrastructure and Planning’s Cairns Office. Visit www.dip.qld.gov.au to find out more about making a submission or providing feedback before the August 8 deadline. The survey, which was part of a broader survey of 2,658 employers across Australia, revealed that the majority of employers in this sector are intending to hold the line on their staff levels for the next quarter. The levels of demand are considerably lower than the past 24 months, dropping to the same levels reported at the end of 2006. According to Manpower marketing and communications general manager Stephen Hinch, the softening of intent to hire new staff may not signal a slow down in net growth. “The continuing softening in hiring intentions may well be indicating a decline in pent up demand that was created by internal mobility together with supply shortages. “Business leaders must continue to rethink their strategies, not only to attract but more importantly to retain the right talent, as staff that you lose today may well need replacing tomorrow”.