What are the key results?
Key drivers of change
Moyne Shire is located along the Great South Coast in Victoria’s South-West, with the largest centres at Port Fairy, Mortlake and Koroit. Port Fairy is located about 250 kilometres from Melbourne and Mortlake at 190 kilometres. Moyne Shire has a strong relationship with the City of Warrnambool, due to its proximity with the City acting as the main service centre for the Shire.
The Shire is predominantly rural, with a large share of the population employed in agricultural industries and associated value-adding, notably dairy products. Other important industries include tourism, most notably around Port Fairy and Koroit and specific industries such as the GlaxoSmithKline factory at Port Fairy. More than a quarter of the population works in Warrnambool, with places such as Koroit about 15 minutes drive from the Warrnambool City centre.
The population of Moyne Shire has fluctuated significantly over the last twenty five years, with losses during the 1981-1986 and 1991-2001 periods, but gains in the 1986-1991 period and since 2001. The dominant drivers for population loss during these periods were:
- loss of young people (18-24 years) to major centres, such as Warrnambool, Geelong, Ballarat and Melbourne.
- consolidation of farming enterprises producing out-migration of persons
- loss of employment in other key industries such as government administration and utilities
The dominant drivers for population gain during these periods have been:
- employment growth in services, especially tourism based industries, retail trade, health and education
- Consolidation of agricultural industries and growth in value-adding
- Attraction of families to the area, based on the amenity and beauty
There has been some population growth in areas adjacent to Warrnambool, most notably in Koroit, as well as Port Fairy. Other areas of the Shire have tended to decline in population based on job losses in agriculture and departure of young people to larger urban centres. The population gains tend to be based on external migration factors, such as from Metropolitan Melbourne and overseas, particularly to coastal areas of the Shire.
It is assumed that a number of these patterns will continue into the future, most notably flows into the Shire from Melbourne and overseas and losses of young people to larger centres, albeit lower numbers. In addition, the Shire is likely to benefit from continued ‘overspill’ of families from Warrnambool and reduced numbers of young persons migrating into the City (based on lower numbers overall).
Migration flows, Moyne Shire, 1996 to 2001.
Note: The migration flows depicted above do not represent future or forecast migration flows. The arrows represent migration flows to the LGA/SLA as a whole and do not indicate an origin or destination for any specific localities within the LGA/SLA.
Overall employment factors will have a major bearing on population factors in the next fifteen to twenty years. Recent development of the Otway Basin for gas production has lead to new employment opportunities in the Shire close to Port Campbell (in Corangamite Shire). A proposed gas-fired power station at Mortlake utilising the resources from this basin is proposed for about 2010 which will provide employment in construction, as well as 30 ongoing jobs. Other projects such as wind farms at Macarthur and Glenthompson (Southern Grampians Shire) will provide further financial impetus through the construction phase.
It is likely that there will also be a positive economic and employment spin-off for the Shire as the large number of hardwood plantation forests in the area and to the north and west reach harvesting stage. There is likely to be a substantial increase in employment from 2010 onwards with an estimated 1000 direct jobs in the ‘Green Triangle’ (South East South Australia and South-West Victoria). It is likely, however, that most of the jobs growth in Victoria will be concentrated in Southern Grampians and Glenelg Shires.
The population change expected over the next fifteen to twenty years will also be influenced by demand for housing in those areas. Some areas, notably Koroit and Port Fairy are advantaged by their combination of services, amenity and proximity to Warrnambool. Mortlake will be advantaged by economic developments, such as the proposed Gas Plant, but some of these employment opportunities will be taken up by people living in other areas. The Rural East area is likely to be advantaged by its proximity to developments in the Otway Basin, as well as proximity to Warrnambool, although the relative lack of services in these areas may slow population growth.