Queensland’s Moreton Bay Regional Council has been awarded a $450,000 grant to implement a smart parking project in North Lakes.
Under the project, local streets will be upgraded with digital street signs that will tell drivers how many free parking spaces are available on a given street.
A smartphone app will also be developed with a virtual map of free and occupied spaces updated in real time. Moreton Bay Regional Council will match the federal government’s contribution.
The city of Greater Geelong in Victoria will meanwhile be provided with a $415,000 grant for an initiative that also includes installing parking sensors to indicate parking availability.
In addition, the city will install ‘smart street furniture’ which will provide high-speed Wi-Fi across the city, LED streetlights that can boost brightness to reduce street crime, air and water quality sensors, touch screens and a public address system.
The city and private partners will contribute $518,000 in joint funding towards the project.
“Smart street furniture will literally ‘switch on’ the city, meaning residents and visitors can easily plug into a range of technologies — charging your electric car, digital signage to assist the all-important tourism sector, streetlights with sensors that react to antisocial behaviour,” Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus Taylor said.
Both the grants form part of the $28.5 million first round of the government’s Smart Cities and Suburbs program. The grants to 52 projects across Australia were allocated yesterday.
Originally Published: www.technologydecisions.com.au
Interstate migration is rising in Queensland, with a heavy emphasis on the Moreton Bay region.
The northern Brisbane area had the highest number of migrants coming in from other states, and Bribie Island and its surrounding suburbs had a surprisingly high percentage of net interstate migrants, nearly 10 per cent.
That growth is being driven by an attractive and relatively unique market, focused on retirees and families looking for a quiet and safe spot while still being close to the city.
Jenny and Glenn Murch have made the move from Canberra for exactly that reason.
“When we got to Bribie we found a lot of like-minded people who were early into their retirement,” Ms Murch said. “We wanted to be close to a city, an airport, to a hospital but not right next to any of those.”
“We were looking for a place that would protect us from all that hectic tourism,” Mr Murch said. “And less of the problems that can come up in dynamic and younger communities.
“We wanted to step off, and step back. When you cross over that bridge, you’re entering a defined community.”
ABS data shows the Bribie and Beachmere area had 612 people move in from other states last year, which is comparable to Maroochydore and Noosa. Those two bustling seaside suburbs had 684 and 664 people move in, respectively.
The Murches considered moving to more popular coastal areas, but were put off by how “hectic” tourism could be.
“Well we looked around Maroochydore and Caloundra. We felt it was too busy and not exactly what we were looking for,” Ms Murch said.
“We never looked at the Gold Coast at all because it was too hectic,” Mr Murch added.
Comparatively, Domain Group data showed suburbs like Noosa and Maroochydore had much higher interest from buyers outside Queensland.
Noosa had huge interest from out of area buyers in the past 30 days, with 68 per cent of searches coming from outside the state, compared to 46.7 per cent in Maroochydore and 29.8 per cent for Bribie.
However, the estate the Murches bought their block of land in, Pacific Harbour, has seen strong interest from serious southern buyers, QM Property’s marketing manager Annette Mengel said.
“Bribie Island is Queensland’s only offshore island connected to the mainland by bridge, and interstate buyers are amazed that a brand new home and luxury island lifestyle is available just 60 minutes’ drive to a capital city,” she said.
IF YOU judge a suburb by the quality of the businesses it attracts, then North Lakes has to be one of the most successful Queensland developments in recent years.
After originally being a locale of Mango Hill, North Lakes, following extensive housing and commercial development, has emerged in its own right since it was given suburb status in 2006.
Its appeal has been magnetic for both commercial entities and residents with more than 21,000 people now calling North Lakes home, according to the latest ABS Census.
It’s a 40 percent population spike on the 2011 ABS data when the Moreton Bay Regional Council suburb contained 15,000 residents.
The place is bursting at the seams, says local RE/MAX real estate agent Mark White.
“There are a couple of little pockets they are finishing off but the North Lakes footprint is almost finished from a residential perspective,” Mr. White said. “It’s almost full.”
For those who have set-up home in North Lakes, some 26km north of the CBD, there’s little need to venture beyond the suburb’s boundaries for entertainment and shopping.
There’s an enormous Westfield Shopping complex just off the Bruce Highway which opened in 2003 and has more than 4900 car park and 80 specialty shops.
The complex is complemented by warehouse merchandiser Costco and Swedish furniture giant IKEA – only the second built in Queensland – within close proximity.
“The only Costco in Queensland is in North Lakes and the second IKEA is in North Lakes which show how much of a success this development has been,” he said.
“For a long time and still may be, it was the fastest growing area in Australia.
“For the size, a number of people and the desirability of it, it’s a real lifestyle destination.”
The suburb’s appeal is about further enhanced by a $250 million commercial and lifestyle precinct to be developed by the team behind Fortitude Valley’s James Street and Southport’s Brickwork developments.
Laguna North Lakes will sit opposite Westfield and contain a 140-room hotel, trendy dining laneways, a tavern and office tower.
The recent announcement comes a year after the opening of Redcliffe Peninsula railway line.
“There is a series of railway stations in a short distance of each other and it’s about 70 minutes to the city,” Mr. White said.
“The residents have been quite excited that the railway line, IKEA and the movie theatre (at Westfield) all opened in the past 12 months.”
North Lakes contains 7649 dwellings and its population is very much a mix of Commonwealth countries.
According to the ABS, the most spoken language outside of English is Afrikaans while New Zealand born residents make-up 8.3 percent of the local population followed by Brits (7.1 percent).
Yet, according to Daniel Pennisi, a third-generation greengrocer who co-owns The Fruit and Deli Co. at Westfield, there’s another migrant group that’s not transparent in the ABS data.
“There is a strong South African influence but we are seeing a strong South American influence, not necessarily in North Lakes but from surrounding areas as well who we cater for,” he said.
“We have a large South American range including Arepa, which is like a corn tortilla and it’s part of their diet … we have five types of that.”
The Fruit and Deli Co. will celebrate its second birthday at North Lakes in November and Mr. Pennisi said the opening of the railway station was the missing link for the suburb.
“We found a lot of our customers work in the city but live here and the opening of the railway line was a big, big boost for them,” he said.
While the shopping center certainly has put the suburb on the map, the area has a lot more to offer.
It’s within close proximity of the Redcliffe Peninsula and within an hour’s drive to the Sunshine Coast and 40 minutes to Brisbane.
It has a strong businesses hub, a council library, leisure center and pool within the vicinity of the shopping center and the suburb’s centerpiece is Lake Eden which has a 10,000 step walking track, cafe, barbecue and playground area.
Positioned within a stone’s skimming throw of the lake are North Lakes State College and The Lakes College.
Opposite the State College is Told You So cafe which has been operating for 18 months.
Owner Anna Lumsden said the many of her customers were families and students and she chose the location based on the size of the ever-growing population.
“There are definitely lots of young families and uni students but it’s a lot more affordable for people to live out here too,” she said.
“We chose here because of lots of people living in a small area and there some major drawcards in the area where people pass through.”
The suburb’s popularity has also meant a steady rise in the median house price.
Mr White said a turn-key house could have been purchased for under $200,000 in 2006 but it has more than doubled since then with the median for a four-bedroom house tracking at about $520,000.
“The results speak for itself. There is about a 65 percent owner occupier … it’s a real lifestyle destination.”