Tuesday, 23 April 2019
ABS population report shows 2.5% growth since 2016 Census
POPULATION figures released late last month by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) confirm that every single local government area in the Northern Tablelands is growing, and some quite rapidly, according to local MP Adam Marshall.
A delighted Mr Marshall welcomed the ABS report, Regional Population Growth, which showed the electorate had seen an overall growth rate of 2.5 per cent from the 2016 Census (taken in August 2016), to 30 June 2018 – an increase of 1,987 residents.
This almost 2,000 resident increase, pushes the Northern Tablelands overall population past the 80,000 mark for the very first time, to an estimated population of 81,220.
Mr Marshall said this growth rate in the 22-month period was even greater than the region’s growth rate in the previous five years!
“These are an incredibly exciting and pleasing set of figures, especially in the midst of one of the worst droughts in living memory,” Mr Marshall said. “This growth in such a short period is virtually unprecedented for our region.
“In the past, growth has been inconsistent across our region, but now every single community firmly is on the move.
“I’ve said for years that the Northern Tablelands is the best place to work, live and invest and now we’re seeing that reflected in the numbers. As a region, we’re bucking the trend compared to many other areas across country NSW, which are sadly not faring well.
“A number of our communities are growing at better than the New England North West average and are streets ahead of the trend across regional NSW.”
The biggest mover was the Armidale Regional local government area (LGA) (population of 30,707), with a massive increase of 1,258 people since the Census, an increase of 4.3 per cent, making it one of the fastest growing LGAs in country NSW.
Inverell Shire also fared very well (16,844) with 361 new residents at 2.2 per cent growth.
Taking advantage of its close proximity to Armidale and quality lifestyle options, Uralla Shire (6,062) continued to develop, growing by 0.2 per cent, with an extra 14 residents.
Glen Innes Severn LGA (8,908) has benefitted from the booming renewables sector in recent times, adding another 72 people, an increase of 0.8 per cent.
Mr Marshall said he was particularly pleased to see Moree Plains and Gwydir LGAs arrest their previous patchy growth or slight declining trends and show population upswings since the 2016 Census.
Impressively, the Gwydir LGA (5,349) grew by 91 residents (1.7 per cent) and Moree Plains (13,350) added an estimated 191 people to the community, a growth of 1.5 per cent.
“The growth in Moree is a result for the community, which has faced its fair share of adversity in recent years,” Mr Marshall. “The community is resilient and now is turning a corner, especially with inland rail and other economic infrastructure firmly on the agenda.
“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.
“These results show the strength and resilience of our Northern Tablelands communities during drought and this trend bodes very well for the future.
“If we can continue to grow during a crippling drought, just imagine what we can do after it breaks.”