9 Aug 2023

Queensland’s population is growing, and quickly. The recent release of the Draft ShapingSEQ 2023 Update confirms that, with the population in South East Queensland to grow by over 2.16 million people, over 900,000 new homes need to be delivered by 2046. SEQ will soon be home to 6 million people.

This population growth forecasts 1,600 new people moving to SEQ each week, requiring 34,500 new homes to be built each year across the region.

The Queensland Government is seeking feedback on the Draft ShapingSEQ 2023 Update over a six week consultation period, concluding on 20 September 2023.

Our team of experts have reviewed the plan and provide some key insights below:

Demand for housing is increasing

  • 900,000 new homes need to be delivered to match population growth to 2046 which equates to 38,000 new homes each year for SEQ.
  • There is a shift towards greater consolidation in urban areas, with the State Government pushing for new homes in centres, high amenity areas, high density residential zones and through gentle density (i.e. infill development).

Diversity in dwelling supply

  • Supply targets are set to include requirements to deliver diversity and density, as well as a target of 20% social and affordable housing. Further detail is yet to come on these requirements.

Urban Footprint

  • The update indicates a modest expansion of the Urban Footprint of 3,250ha which includes both residential and industrial land. Elimbah and Southern Thornlands are to be included while some areas within the existing mapping that are not feasible have been excluded from land supply calculations.
  • An additional 20,000 hectares of land that requires resolution of infrastructure and/or local issues is also identified as ‘long term supply’, with the Growth Areas Team set to facilitate delivery.
  • Additional ‘Potential Future Growth Areas’ have also been included at North Harbour, Staplyton, Westbrook and Highfields.
  • There is also greater definition for the Northern Inter Urban Break, between Moreton Bay and the Sunshine Coast.

Industry, waste and recycling

  • A shortfall of industrial land is projected as early as 2032,with demand continuing to increase.
  • Additional land for waste and recycling is need, with additional protections for some major sites to be included.

Emphasising good design

  • Exemplar design codes set to follow the ShapingSEQ 2023 Update, with a focus on density done well.

A resilient environment  

  • New strategies on resilience (a resilience maturity framework) and an explicit connection between risk management processes and the planning system is included in the update, with a requirement for Local Governments to incorporate into Planning Schemes.

Bio-regional planning

  • Replaces previous ‘strategic assessment’ and will require the development of bioregional plans across Queensland – idea is to achieve better biodiversity outcomes and greater development certainty.


  • A new SEQ Infrastructure Supplement (SEQIS 2023) has been prepared alongside the ShapingSEQ 2023 Update to align land use and infrastructure, assisting delivery across the region.

Other changes like a specific land use definition for Build to Rent, mandates on minimum residential lot sizes and a proposal for capping levels of assessment for housing are also referenced in the update.

If you would like to find out more, please reach out to our team, they would be happy to provide further insights on the proposed changes.



Jessica Carmichael View Profile
Kris Krpan View Profile
Ben Lyons View Profile
Julie Saunders View Profile
Melissa Griffin View Profile