Eurobodalla Shire CouncilPopulation forecast
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Eurobodalla Shire

Drivers of population change

Eurobodalla Shire is a large rural local government area south of Sydney on the New South Wales South Coast, with major centres at Batemans Bay, Moruya and Narooma. The coastal areas of the Shire are strongly oriented towards residential development and tourism, particularly around Batemans Bay. The rural areas along the Princes Highway corridor are highly productive with dairying and grazing the most notable agricultural industries. Inland areas are mountainous and dominated by National Park and State Forest.

Development history

The urban centres began as small agricultural service centres and as fishing ports, but have expanded rapidly in population during the post-war period, especially since the 1970s. This has been a result of the growth in tourism, as well as increasing numbers of retirees and improvements in road infrastructure and greater mobility and affluence. The area has grown in popularity due to its high level of amenity and its relative proximity to Canberra via the Kings Highway.

Eurobodalla Shire's population grew strongly in the 1980s before moderating slightly during the 1990s. The 2001-06 period was characterised by above average population growth (1.3% per annum). In contrast, population growth in the period 2006-11 has fallen away sharply, averaging 0.7% per annum over the five years.

Migration patterns

Eurobodalla Shire has a dual housing market focussed on retirees and younger families. In common with most parts of regional Australia, there is significant out-migration of young adults (18-24 years), primarily for education and employment purposes. Historically, Eurobodalla Shire gains population through migration from Sydney, Canberra and other parts of regional NSW. Eurobodalla Shire also has a high proportion of vacant dwellings (mainly holiday and second homes) which comprise almost one-third of the stock. The proportion of vacant dwellings has not altered signficantly since 1991, and it differs widely across the Shire. In Malua Bay - Lilli Pilli - Rosedale - Guerilla Bay, almost half of dwellings in 2011 were vacant, compared to around one in six in Urban Moruya - Moruya Heads.

Historical migration flows, Eurobodalla Shire, 2006-2011
Historical migration flows, Eurobodalla Shire, 2006-2011
'Overseas' refers to arrivals only.

Population and household forecasts, 2011 to 2036, prepared by .id the population experts, February 2017.

Note: The migration flows depicted above are historical and do not represent future or forecast migration flows or subsequent council boundary changes. The arrows represent migration flows to the area as a whole and do not indicate an origin or destination for any specific localities within the area. Overseas flow shows overseas arrivals only, based on answers to the census question “where did the person usually live 5-years ago.

Housing role and function

Although the majority of areas in Eurobodalla Shire attract a combination of families and retirees, there are subtle differences between small areas. For example, Tuross Head attracts more retirees than families, whereas the the rural hinterland areas tend to attract similar proportions of retirees and families. In contrast, Urban Moruya - Moruya Heads plays a slightly different role as it has largely retained its traditional function as a rural service town, and hence attracts more families than retirees, with the latter concentrating in the Moruya Heads area. However, all parts of Eurobodalla Shire lose young adults through migration, primarily to Sydney, the Illawarra and Canberra.

Housing supply

In the future, it is assumed that expansion of existing settlements will be the main driver of change in the future, though there are differnces in the supply of, and demand for, residential land. Signficant residential supply has been identified in Malua Bay - Lilli Pilli - Rosedale - Guerilla Bay and Broulee - Tomakin - Mossy Point, and to a lesser extent Urban Moruya - Moruya Heads and Surfside - Long Beach - Maloneys Beach - North Batemans Bay. Infill development will play a greater role in Batemans Bay - Catalina, especially in the long term, while lower levels demand coupled with relative isolation will result in only moderate growth in Tuross Head and Dalmeny. Overall, more than 5,700 dwellings are assumed in Eurobodalla Shire over the forecast period, resulting in a 2036 population approaching 44,800.

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