Explosive growth for Townsville’s northern suburbs but infrastructure struggles to keep pace
5 October 2023
In recent years, Townsville’s population has boomed with a growth of 164 per cent between June 2022 and June 2023, and the northern suburbs including Bushland Beach, Burdell, Mount Low and Deeragun have proven popular amongst those who have decided to call Townsville home.
With families and businesses flocking to the area, Townsville’s northern suburbs have become a hotspot for growth. However, the rapid influx of residents has exposed significant gaps in the infrastructure framework, jeopardising the quality of life and economic prosperity that drew people to the region in the first place.
Adding to the numbers will be another 500 Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel who are expected to be based in the garrison city from 2025, creating an urgent need for more housing and transport infrastructure.
The establishment of new schools, shops and necessary utilities have helped to accommodate the many families already living in the area and Burdell will also soon be home to a brand-new Queensland Ambulance station that will serve as the Townsville Ambulance headquarters.
Hinchinbrook MP and KAP Deputy Leader, Nick Dametto, said he welcomed the large number of new residents and hoped to see that followed by the necessary infrastructure projects that would keep up with demand.
“As a long-term resident of Townsville’s northern suburbs I have seen first-hand the growth here, not only in housing but in the commercial and retail space as well,” he said.
“North Shore in Burdell is home to a new primary school, a tavern, a shopping precinct and multiple new homes.
“With population growth comes infrastructure demand and whilst we are seeing great private developments and some state development, it won’t be enough to keep up with demand, especially if the ADF brings another thousand or more residents to Townsville.
“The State needs to do some more of the heavy lifting here and get on top of issues such as the North Shore Boulevard intersection upgrade and an additional high school.
“I recently sponsored a parliamentary petition that called for urgent traffic infrastructure upgrades along the heavily congested stretch of Woolcock Street and the Bruce Highway leading to Townsville’s Northern Beaches.
“The petition gathered a total of 1,929 signatures and the response from Transport and Main Roads (TMR) Minister, the Hon Mark Bailey outlined the State’s plans to undertake preliminary planning for the upgrades by the end of 2023.
“I am pleased to see that preliminary detailed design is underway to improve road, pedestrian and cycling access through Woolcock Street, North Shore Boulevard and Ingham Road, including the Bohle River bridges, but we’re really behind the eight-ball here.
“The purpose of the petition was to demonstrate to the Government that these works are years too late and must be undertaken urgently.
“With all reports indicating that the northern suburbs will continue to grow, it has now become even more critical that our transport infrastructure is upgraded to keep up with demand.
“The year is quickly drawing to a close and I am eager to see the results from those preliminary planning studies. We can only hope that the final solution is one that actually addresses the major congestion issues and doesn’t miss the mark.
“Quad lanes at Ingham Road will do nothing to reduce the congestion if additional lanes and a flyover are not included at the North Shore Boulevard and Shaw Road intersection.
“The daily commute along the Bruce Highway and Woolcock Street through Townsville’s Northern suburbs is an arduous task each day for thousands of residents, including myself.
“These infrastructure upgrades were overlooked in this year’s state budget but I am committed to holding TMR Minister to account and seeing a substantial funding announcement from the State Government in next year’s budget.”
 Petition No. 3861-23, https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/Work-of-the-Assembly/Petitions/Closed-EPetitions