New­com­ers swell Val­ley num­bers

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - FRONT PAGE - SHAUN McMANUS

THE Der­went Val­ley’s pop­u­la­tion has passed 10,000 and me­dian house­hold in­comes are ris­ing. Rus­sell Alphey, pic­tured, is part of the growth spurt, hav­ing moved from Mel­bourne to New Nor­folk be­cause “it ticks a lot of boxes” for life­style. For more on the lat­est cen­sus data,

THE ever-grow­ing Der­went Val­ley has ticked over 10,000 res­i­dents, fig­ures from the 2016 Cen­sus show.

The 2016 Cen­sus of Pop­u­la­tion and Hous­ing, re­leased by the Aus­tralian Bu­reau of Statis­tics, shows that 10,021 peo­ple live in the re­gion, up from 9704 in 2011 and 9479 in 2006.

Der­went Val­ley Mayor Mar­tyn Evans hopes to see the pop­u­la­tion in­crease to 15,000 by 2025, and wel­comed the lat­est mile­stone.

“It’s a great fig­ure to at­tain, be­cause it shows our re­gion is con­tin­u­ally grow­ing, and with that growth comes change, new ideas and en­ergy from peo­ple who have been at­tracted by the life­style we en­joy here, but take for granted,” Coun­cil­lor Evans said.

One new res­i­dent who moved to the Der­went Val­ley be­tween the 2011 Cen­sus and the 2016 Cen­sus is Rus­sell Alphey.

Mr Alphey moved from Mel­bourne to New Nor­folk about 18 months ago with his wife Deb Emer­son af­ter hol­i­day­ing in the re­gion a num­ber of times.

He has no re­grets about the move.

“On the last [hol­i­day], we were like ‘we should prob­a­bly have a look at the prop­er­ties and see what’s avail­able,’ and within a day we had bought one,” Mr Alphey said.

He loves the life­style the Der­went Val­ley of­fers, as well as the stun­ning scenic sur­rounds.

“It just seemed to tick lots of boxes,” he said. “We love Tassie, we love New Nor­folk, it’s a good life down here.”

Mr Alphey would like to see more peo­ple liv­ing in the re­gion, as long as they were evenly dis­trib­uted.

“You wouldn’t want there to be half a mil­lion peo­ple here, but I guess the other thing as well is that’s not go­ing to hap­pen for a long time,” he said.

“[But] I think it would be good for the com­mu­nity to have a few more peo­ple, it would be nicer to have a few less closed shops, so more peo­ple means more busi­nesses and things go­ing on, a bit more va­ri­ety.”

The 2016 Cen­sus shows that fe­males and males are split evenly at 50 per cent in the Der­went Val­ley.

The me­dian age is 43, slightly higher than for Aus­tralia gen­er­ally (38).

Most Der­went Val­ley res­i­dents (84.1 per cent) were born in Aus­tralia, with Eng­land the next most com­mon coun­try of birth at 3.2 per cent.

Me­dian house­hold weekly in­come in the re­gion is $998, up from $869 in 2011 and $731 in 2006.

More 2016 Cen­sus in­for­ma­tion for the Der­went Val­ley and Cen­tral High­lands can be found at cen­sus­data.abs.gov.au

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