Tuesday, 19 April 2016

ABS population report shows steady growth for region

FIGURES released recently by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) confirm that the overwhelming majority of communities in the Northern Tablelands are growing, and some quite rapidly, according to local MP Adam Marshall.

A very pleased Mr Marshall welcomed the ABS report, Regional Population Growth, which showed that the electorate had seen an overall growth rate of 1.33% over the last five years – 30 June 2010 to 30 June 2015 – an increase of 1,066 residents.

“Given the difficult economic times the region has faced in the last few years and the lack of growth generally across country NSW, these figures are very impressive and pleasing,” Mr Marshall said.

“A number of communities are growing at better than the New England North West average and streaks ahead of the trend across country NSW – even those that are not, aren’t too far off the pace.

“These results show the strong resilience of our Northern Tablelands communities and the trends bode well for the future.”

The biggest mover was the Inverell Shire local government area (LGA) (population of 16,936), with an increase of 460 people over the five year period at a rate of 2.79%. Armidale Dumaresq (25,318) also fared well with 272 new residents at 1.09% growth.

Taking advantage of its close proximity to Armidale and quality lifestyle options, Uralla (6,441) continued to surge ahead, growing by 3.92%, with an extra 243 residents.

Guyra (4,551) showed growth also, adding 73 people to its community at 1.63%. With the second stage of Costa Group’s tomato farm recently completed, Guyra’s growth should continue in the coming years.

Mr Marshall said he was delighted to see Moree Plains and Glen Innes LGAs arrest their previous slight declining trend and show population upswings in the last five years. Glen Innes (8,999) grew by 60 residents (0.67%) and Moree Plains added 21 people to the community, a growth of 0.15%.

It wasn’t all good news however, with the ABS figures showing that Gwydir Shire (5,068) suffered a slight drop in population. Gwydir lost 63 people (1.23%) over the period.

“This is not too dissimilar to other parts of rural NSW where population decline is still occurring, but I am very pleased to say that the overall figures for Northern Tablelands are extremely positive,” Mr Marshall said.

“A growing region will attract better services, new employment opportunities and greater investment.

“These figures highlight the need to continue to promote country NSW and what is has to offer and to support government and non-government initiatives that help people and businesses relocate and assist existing business and industry to grow.

“With a Census to be taken in August this year, the next population data to be released in March 2017 will prove interesting to see how much communities across the region have grown in actual terms from 2011 through to 2016.”

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