It is a vexing question that many people have asked.
On one hand the growth is a sign of prosperity as more people and businesses discover Ballarat’s charms and advantages.
But this influx also brings with it growing pains.
With some there is the fear that what was always attractive about a regional city like Ballarat will be sacrificed with uncontrolled growth in a wave of sprawling suburbs, increasing congestion and ugly skylines.
Fairfax Media has compiled some startling population projections about Victoria by 2050 where Melbourne, to become a true megalopolis will hold a larger and larger share of this boom.
While non- metropolitan growth is much more modest, what seems almost inevitable is that as people seek to escape the problems of a future city of 8 million, they will increasingly look to cities with proximity and liveability. In this light, some estimates have Ballarat double its size with 200,000 people by 2050.
Next year, 2019 will represent a epoch year in Ballarat as multiple projects get underway to meet some of this current and future growth. They too will come with benefits and headaches but they are, if nothing else, a sign of things to come.
Our job at The Courier is to track this growth, applaud its benefits but also to scrutinise its problems, so that in turn we can advocate for the improvements needed.
Future success depends on planning and that includes keeping people informed, and that too is our job. Your loyalty will go a long way to make this happen and in a subtle but critical way build a better future for the city you love.
Have a great New Year.