Population growth speeds up
HIGHER birth rates and immigration are boosting the state's population, which is expected to grow from 7 million to 9.8 million by 2049, NSW Treasurer Eric Roozendaal said this week.
Making their own significant contribution to the growth rate is the Teven family of Bob and Anna Hogbin and their seven children, including latest addition, baby Mary, born last Sunday.
Bob, 46, who is from a family of six, said it had been 'a great experience growing up as part of a big family' but the couple didn't plan on having a lot of children when they married.
However, when they lost a son named Noah at the age of 11 days seven years ago 'our thinking changed a bit', Mr Hogbin said.
“We came to appreciate the value of life and of bringing children into the world,” he said.
Mr Hogbin is pastor at The Point Church at Lennox Head and the family is a Christian one, he said, 'so we have strong convictions that God loves children'.
The family lives on almost a hectare, with large vegie gardens and chooks, and all the children have their chores.
The Northern Rivers has one of Australia's highest growth rates outside of capital cities, at 1.2 per cent a year.
Tony Davies, CEO of the Northern Rivers Social Development Council, said such figures demanded that the state invest in services and infrastructure to cope with the huge increase in numbers, and the rise in the number of older people.
“We need to ensure that the regions have good planning in transport, education, health and affordable housing, where there is an acute shortage,” he said.
Investment in broadband was needed, to create work and marketing opportunities, Mr Davies said.