Shire pop­u­la­tion in­crease

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS -

The Ber­ri­gan Shire and Mur­rumbidgee Council both ex­pe­ri­enced pop­u­la­tion in­creases last year, ac­cord­ing to the Aus­tralian Bureau of Sta­tis­tics (ABS).

The Ber­ri­gan Shire’s pop­u­la­tion in­creased by 40 peo­ple from 8667 in 2017 to 8707 in­clud­ing a net in­crease of 36 com­ing from over­seas mi­gra­tion.

Nat­u­ral in­crease (birth and death rate) saw a net in­crease of five, while in­ter­nal mi­gra­tion (em­i­grate to dif­fer­ent LGA in Aus­tralia) had a net de­cline of one.

It’s the 16th con­sec­u­tive year the Ber­ri­gan Shire has seen an in­creased pop­u­la­tion.

The Ber­ri­gan Shire Council has pre­vi­ously claimed the pop­u­la­tion has de­creased since the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Mur­ray Dar­ling Basin Plan.

Gen­eral man­ager Rowan Perkins said this is still the case in Fin­ley, how­ever de­creases have not oc­curred in Tocumwal and Ba­rooga due to peo­ple mov­ing to be close to the Mur­ray River.

He said the num­bers pro­vided by the ABS are only raw num­bers and don’t pro­vide ex­act town num­bers.

‘‘It’s still an overall fig­ure so it doesn’t tell us a lot, but the in­crease is pos­i­tive.

‘‘We can’t be ab­so­lutely cer­tain that one fac­tor is peo­ple retiring to Ba­rooga or Tocumwal, but history tells us that is what’s hap­pen­ing.

‘‘Sur­pris­ingly there has been an ex­pan­sion in the younger pop­u­la­tion in Tocumwal, which we don’t quite un­der­stand yet.

‘‘Al­though we don’t have all in­for­ma­tion, if we base it off school and pre-school en­rol­ments we believe that’s the case.

‘‘I sus­pect the num­bers from over­seas mi­gra­tion are essen­tially back­pack­ers, rather than peo­ple mov­ing here as per­ma­nent res­i­dents, but it’s still fan­tas­tic for the area.’’

Mr Perkins said the pop­u­la­tion in­crease would serve an im­por­tant plan­ning mech­a­nism in the fu­ture when ap­ply­ing for gov­ern­ment money.

‘‘It should send a clear mes­sage to the NSW Depart­ment of Plan­ning about their own fig­ures; they’ve been pro­ject­ing a state of de­cline for 25 years.

‘‘What is im­por­tant about growth is it can show to gov­ern­ment agen­cies when you’re seek­ing grants or in­fra­struc­ture fund­ing that money does need to be dis­trib­uted into this area. It’s very hard to get gov­ern­ment agen­cies to in­vest in an area in need of money where they see there’s a de­cline.’’

Mur­rumbidgee Council pop­u­la­tion saw a smaller growth of six peo­ple. Nat­u­ral in­crease was a net gain of 10 peo­ple, over­seas mi­gra­tion grew by 17 and in­ter­nal mi­gra­tion de­creased by a net of 21.

Gen­eral man­ager John Scarce said the Mur­rumbidgee Council is al­ways pleased with any in­creased pop­u­la­tion, re­gard­less of how small.

‘‘While you would like the growth to be big­ger, given the cli­matic con­di­tions and other ar­eas go­ing into a de­cline, to re­main stag­nant or in­crease is a win in NSW at this time.

‘‘Any type of mi­gra­tion is good, whether it’s do­mes­tic or in­ter­na­tional to fill jobs. There are many fac­tors we need to main­tain those num­bers, such as good ser­vices in­clud­ing health and lo­cal gov­ern­ment, ac­cess to goods, equip­ment and trade.

‘‘Mur­rumbidgee Council hasn’t set any pop­u­la­tion tar­gets. Some­thing might come out in our eco­nomic strat­egy pol­icy in the fu­ture,’’ Mr Scarce said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.