Population growth speeding up in the southern Cassowary Coast

After the impacts of TC Larry in 2006 and then TC Yasi in 2011 the Cassowary Coast has struggled to get its mojo back. Population growth was almost static, tourism took some years to recover and business confidence took a hit. However, more recently that appears to be shifting…at least when seen from the southern part of the amalgamated Cassowary Coast Regional Council area.

When we consider the recent population estimates for 2017 at the most fine-grain level of SA2 areas we see that the population in Tully (which includes Cardwell, Mission Beach and Tully to the south of the region) grew by 1.4% last year and is up 4.6% since 2011; that’s an extra 500 people. Innisfail and Johnstone, the regions in the north of the LGA, were up just 0.3% and 0.5% respectively in 2017. Johnstone has done not so badly since 2011 (up 4.4%) but the larger area of Innisfail is up only 0.9% in the last 6 years. Taken together the two northern areas have grown just 2.5% since 2011; a little over half the rate in the south.

And the increase in population isn’t the only positive sign coming from the area.

  • Castaways Resort and Spa recently announced a $7 million expansion plan of their facility in Mission Beach.
  • An investor appears to be interested in taking over the dilapidated Hinchinbrook Island Resort (offshore from Cardwell) and developing it into eco-glamping.
  • A recent high court ruling might allow things to start to move ahead at the troubled Port Hinchinbrook development (just south of Cardwell).
  • Experience Co recently won the tender to develop tourism and adventure sport activities on Dunk Island Spit (just offshore from Mission Beach).
  • The World Rafting Championships come to Tully in 2019.
  • Plans are afoot for the construction of a boutique distillery in Bingil Bay (just north of Mission Beach)
  • The $9 million Mission Beach Aquatic Facility is due to open in the middle of this year after years of advocacy from the community
  • The redevelopment of marine facilities in Boat Bay (between Bingil Bay and Mission Beach) is just waiting for GBRMPA sign-off before work can start.
  • A boutique chocolate grower and manufacturer just inland from Bingil Bay has expanded after winning national and international accolades for their chocolate.
  • As we noted last week (see here) 75% of all the building approvals in the CCRC over this financial year have been in the Tully SA2 region.

Things are certainly looking better in paradise!

Cairns Economy has written about the data in more detail for the Cairns area.



  1. Rajesh says:

    March 22nd, 2021 at 9:50 am

    Not many young generation likes to leave in rural towns, my predication Cardwell will still take more than 20 years to better established

Leave a Response

  • © Conus Business Consultancy Services 2024

    Website created by RJ New Designs