Cairns southern suburbs expected to welcome 40,000 people in next 20 years
THE lure of life in Far North Queensland is becoming irresistible but the region’s population is fast outgrowing the city limits.

 A
development applica And with limited capacity for expansion to the
city’s north and west, there is only one way forward – south. It
is there, in an area between Edmonton and Gordonvale known as Mt Peter, that
40,000 people are expected to move over the next 30 years. The Mt
Peter development is not a new idea.

 Planning began in the late 1990s and has
involved state members of parliament, private land owners, developers, town
planners and a conga line of councils. A Mt Peter Master Plan was
released in 2011 that highlighted the need for an extra 18,500 houses to cater
for the predicted 40,000 new residents.

 But it is only now that this new metropolis
is rising from the earth.A new Catholic school is under
construction and preparing to welcome its first students next year, and
Kenfrost Homes is building the area’s first residential estate to house the new
wave of families.

 Cairns Regional Council has laid out a swath
of new community sporting facilities and talk of the long-awaited new hospital
or health facility planned for a 20ha block on Mill Rd has resurfaced.
Urban Development Institute of Australia’s Cairns branch president Adam Gowlett
said, when combined, the different elements formed the beginnings of a new city.

 Mr Gowlett, who is also Kenfrost Homes’
project manager, said the Far North lifestyle was one of the key reasons why
the region’s average annual population growth rate was double that of
Australia’s.

“A lot of customers we get are people who come for
holidays and love it so much they want to live here,” he said. Mr
Gowlett visited his company’s Mt Peter site yesterday where workers are preparing
to build 126 lots in the project’s first “precinct”.

 He said for Kenfrost alone, the area was
capable of developing about 1000 lots over the next few years.

The first stage of houses is expected to be finished by
April.