Retirees aim to hit Coast

THE Coffs Coast's popularity amongst sea- and treechangers is set to rise further in coming years as NSW experiences population aging, a State Parliament report has found.

The publication Population Issues for Sydney and NSW draws on census information to help the government plan for the future as the NSW population is expected to grow to 10.2 million people by 2056.

The Mid North Coast, the South Coast and the Illawarra are forecast to experience the state's greatest increase in retirees.

Coffs Harbour City Council's Director of Land Use Health and Development Chris Chapman said these types of state forecasts are applied by local councils to assist in planning.

“As a region we are already well entrenched as a sea- and treechange destination and under these findings Coffs Harbour's attraction to retirees is continuing and projected to rise in the future,” Mr Chapman said.

“We anticipate the (annual) population increase of around the two per cent mark.

“Broadly speaking we are able to apply the predictions on the NSW population to the local government area and as a result look at the dwellings needed to house that growing population.

“The council's Our Living City strategy maps out the future of housing and what form housing should take, for instance with an aging population different types of housing are needed, more unit developments or medium density housing well located to city services, instead of, say, the traditional quarter-acre blocks.

“These predictions also highlight that as a council it's important we increase employment opportunities to attract families and become a broad-based community with a range of diversity.”

In contrast Sydney's population will apparently be younger than the overall NSW population, with over 65s comprising 18% of Sydney's population by 2036, compared to 21% of the NSW population.

The report noted at this earlier stage, the O'Farrell Government has focused on pursuing decentralisation and regional development as a means to alleviate pressures exerted by population growth in Sydney.

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