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Brisbane to host major population conference

Brisbane has won the right to host the world’s most influential conference on the wide-ranging topic of population, at a time when population research has never been more imperative.

Not in living memory has the world’s population experienced such disruption, threatening the social, economic and environmental futures of countries due to the impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

More than 2,000 of the world’s leading experts in the field will meet at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) at the International Population Conference in 2025.

This will mark the first time in the event’s 93-year history that it has been held in Australia. Organised every four years by the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP), the six-day Conference is expected to deliver $7.2 million in direct economic spend for Queensland.

The team at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre partnered with the Australian Population Association, host organisation for the Conference, together with Tourism and Events Queensland, Tourism Australia and the Brisbane Economic Development Agency (BEDA) to secure the first-time event for Brisbane and Australia.

Professor Edith Gray, Head of the School of Demography at the Australian National University, and IUSSP Council member said that Australia’s highly regarded international reputation for population research was a factor in the selection of Brisbane as the host city for the conference.

Professor Gray who was convenor of the Australian Bid Committee for the 2025 Conference said Brisbane’s direct accessibility for international arrivals and the world class facilities and capabilities of BCEC were strong considerations in the decision.

The conference is supported by three levels of government, recognition of the important contribution of population science in helping government and society better prepare for global and regional population issues particularly at this time of increasing domestic migration.

BCEC General Manager, Bob O’Keeffe AM said securing the world’s most important population conference amidst the fallout of a global pandemic, was the result of a strong united team effort on behalf of industry stakeholders and all levels of government. “This conference will be a showcase event for Australia’s and Queensland’s internationally acknowledged population related research.

“A return to Business Events is vital for the Queensland economy and as we navigate a more positive post pandemic landscape this major win for Brisbane represents an appetite for face to face meetings to return in strength.”

Queensland Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said Queensland was a beneficiary of interstate and international tourism and migration. “Migration has helped deliver the economic opportunity and growth that continues to transform 21st century Queensland,” Mr Hinchliffe said. “It’s what makes Queensland’s capital the ideal destination for the 2025 International Population Conference.

“The Palaszczuk Government understands how important major conferences are to Queensland tourism and jobs in the State’s business events industry. That’s why we’ve partnered with Federal and Local Governments to secure this significant international conference event.

“It’s predicted the six-day, 2025 International Population Conference will contribute more than $7 million to Brisbane’s visitor economy, which is terrific news for the city’s accommodation and tourism operators. Securing the 2025 International Population Conference highlights the quality of Queensland’s academic research expertise and Brisbane’s place as an emerging global city.”

“Brisbane has had a run of success in securing international conference bids and Tourism Australia, through its Bid Fund Program, is so very pleased to be supporting this important event, which contributes to Australia’s visitor economy," said Tourism Australia Managing Director Phillipa Harrison.

“Now more so than ever, attracting large-scale international events is helping to generate global attention for Australia as a world-class business events destination. As Australia reopens its international borders to the world this month, securing events like this will help to boost the recovery of our tourism industry and economy more broadly.”

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said Brisbane was one of the world’s most liveable cities, which made it a natural choice to host the conference for the first time in Australia.

“More and more Australians are getting hooked on Brisbane’s fantastic lifestyle. With Brisbane now the nation’s fastest growing capital city, we are the perfect place to host the world’s leading population research experts,” Cr Schrinner said.

“During the pandemic, Brisbane has become the country’s biggest magnet for millennials aged 25-44 years old, which will have significant impacts on our city’s social, economic, and environmental future.

“With that demographic shift comes enormous opportunity, from greater talent attraction to grow our innovation-led economy to preparing the city for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”