Wingecarribee Shire Council has commissioned a suite of demographic and forecasting tools to better understand how the Southern Highlands is changing and help businesses, community groups and service providers plan for future community needs.
A presentation was made at Council’s meeting overnight by the demographic profiling company .id (informed decisions) which included an economic profile and analysis tool, demographic and social profiles and new population and housing forecasts for the Southern Highlands.
Population forecasts presented predict our Shire’s population will increase to 65,275 residents by 2041, representing an increase of approximately 1.1 per cent per annum.
Council’s General Manager Lisa Miscamble said the figures differed from the State Government’s 2019 predictions.
“The revised population forecasts represent a significant increase compared to the State Government’s 2019 projections,” she said. “While this doesn’t come as a surprise, it does allow Council to make more informed decisions in relation to housing, infrastructure and essential community services.”
While growth will occur right across the Shire, Moss Vale is expected to experience the largest growth with approximately 4,550 new residents by 2041.
Ms Miscamble said numerous factors were responsible for the forecast growth.
“There are a range of issues that are driving population growth in the Shire,” she said. “Families and older people seeking to escape growing population pressures in Sydney and people moving to the regions in the wake of COVID-19 are definitely factors.”
“But I think the major driver behind the growth relates back to the Southern Highlands being such a great place to live.”
The General Manager said Council is focused on the future and preparing a range of strategic planning documents following on from adoption of the Local Housing Strategy and the Local Strategic Planning Statement.
“These documents not only identify areas of sustainable future growth but a vision to ensure the unique character of the Southern Highlands is retained for generations.”
Ms Miscamble said the forecast data modelling was invaluable for making evidence-based decisions to inform future service delivery and strategic planning.
“This statistical population modelling data supports Council’s decision to invest in major infrastructure projects such as the upgrade of the Shire’s sewage treatment plants, amplification of the water network and expansion of the stormwater system,” she said.
.id informed decisions provides statistical data to over 300 local government areas and suburbs across Australia and New Zealand. Their forecast modelling is based on Information collected from councils, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Cordell Connect and aerial photography.
To view the .idcommunity population and demographic data forecast for the Wingecarribee Shire, visit www.wsc.nsw.gov.au/Community/Community-Statistics.