ABS data released shows steady population growth in Ballarat, experts call for future planning | The mail

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The latest regional population figures show that Ballarat has avoided the drastic changes and accompanying pressures experienced by metropolitan areas in the pandemic year. Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday showed Ballarat remained among the fastest growing regional Victorian towns with a steady population increase of 1.7% for the period 2020-2021. Among comparable LGAs, Bendigo saw a 1.2% increase, Geelong 1.8% and Warrnambool a slight increase of 0.2%, while Shepparton and Mildura fell 0.4% and 1.2% respectively. %. While Melbourne LGA fell 7.5%, outer metropolis Melton jumped 3.9%. George Earl, a professor of housing economics at Federation University, said that with population growth the focus is on infrastructure planning, but if change is too rapid things can get ugly. lags behind demand. “It’s about seeing what you have and what you don’t…some things can be rectified relatively quickly, others take a relatively long time,” he said. “For example, health and infrastructure take a while to plan…those things can lag quite a long way and impact the livability of an area.” Data shows that around 113,183 people now live in LGA Ballarat. For the reporting period, births and deaths in Ballarat resulted in a natural increase of 300 people and 1,678 people moved from elsewhere in Australia. With pandemic travel restrictions in place, international arrivals were down 120 people from the last reporting period. These components represent a total increase of 1,858 people in Ballarat’s population over the previous year. Prof Earl said a major positive of regional population growth was an increase in full-time employment of the causal workforce that tends to dominate regional economies. “If you have strong regions, you have strong job growth, you have stronger full-time job growth and so in the long run, that’s positive,” he said. However, Professor Earl noted that rising short-term earnings lead to higher costs for those who remain in causal employment. “As you go through this there are negative implications, but I think it’s up to the regions, like the Ballarats of this world, to go through this and look at this and think about how we can really see us not in one to two years time, five to ten years – those are the opportunities for the future.” Ballarat City Mayor Cr Daniel Moloney said Ballarat’s steady growth trends were a big vote of confidence in the city and its range of services, but planning was essential to keep these indicators positive in the future. to come up. “Population growth is highly concentrated in Ballarat West at the moment, so if we put it in the context of a few thousand more people, that’s several hundred more cars, probably several hundred more students a year, it tells a history of pressure points,” he said. “Schools and roads and those things aren’t things you build overnight.” Growth statistics for Ballarat suburbs show that the fastest growing areas are Alfredton and Delacombe by some margin, where a major population boom is long overdue and planned. Remarkably, the population of the Alfredton Statistical Area has nearly tripled since 2001. There were approximately 5,756 residents in 2001 according to the ABS, a number which has now climbed to 16,263. There has also been a huge increase in Delacombe, which more than doubled from 4,154 to 10,007 over the same period. Cr Moloney said growth in the region was not specific to the pandemic years and had climbed at a steady rate over the past decade. However, in the wake of the pandemic, Cr Moloney said the opening of international borders presented a challenge for regional towns like Ballarat by potentially accepting more immigration from abroad. “It was really about focusing our population growth on Melbourne and Sydney, and the rest of the country tried to manage, especially satellite cities like Ballarat, to catch up,” he said. “If there was a target figure planned for Ballarat and the sustained approach to get there, then that would, I think, be a much more manageable and sensible way of dealing with infrastructure planning.” The council predicts that the population of Ballarat will reach 185,000 by 2040. If you see this message, you are a loyal digital subscriber to The Courier, as we have made this story available to subscribers only. Thank you so much for your support and for allowing us to continue to tell the story of Ballarat. We appreciate your support for journalism in our great city.