ABS report shows strong resilience of the 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 1.87% over the last five years – 30 June 2009 to 30 June 2014 – an increase of 1,496 residents.
“Given the difficult economic times the region has faced in the last few years, particularly in the midst of a crippling drought, 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 16,846), with an increase of 526 people over the five year period at a rate of 3.12%. Armidale Dumaresq wasn’t far behind with 465 new residents at 1.87% growth.
Guyra (4,619), boosted by a surge in housing development linked to the Costa Group’s tomato farm, recorded one of the best growth rates in the region with a 4.33% increase over the last five years, adding 200 people to its community.
Taking advantage of its close proximity to Armidale and quality lifestyle options, Uralla (6,408) continued to surge ahead, growing by 4.35% with an extra 279 residents.
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 grew by 40 residents (0.45%) and Moree Plains added 73 people to the community, a growth of 0.52%.
It wasn’t all good news however, with the ABS figures showing that Gwydir Shire LGA suffered a drop in population. Gwydir lost 87 people (1.71%) 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.
“These figures highlight the need to continue to promote country NSW and what is has to offer and to support government and non-go Ernest initiatives that help people and businesses relocate and assist existing business and industry to grow.
“This will be my focus over the coming four-year term.”