Between 2001 and 2006, significant population growth occurred along the eastern seaboard states of Australia. A substantial proportion of this growth occurred outside capital cities, particularly on the urban fringes of large cities, coastal areas and the areas around mining towns.
This study focuses on the movement of young families to non-metropolitan areas of Queensland and New South Wales, with the aim of building an understanding of the experiences and needs of these families. The research was conducted between 2006 and 2008, prior to the Global Financial Crisis. The authors recognise that the recent economic turmoil has affected all the communities we studied. One site of our study, Gladstone, has been greatly affected with employers in that area announcing the shedding of hundreds of jobs in 2009. While our findings point to underlying trends that are likely to remain in the context of current economic conditions, our report should be read as a snapshot in time.
The report includes an analysis of:
• population growth of young families within four diverse non-metropolitan communities;
• service providers’ perceptions of the needs of young families who relocate, and
• the experiences of young families who have relocated to non-metropolitan areas.