City of Wodonga
Drivers of population change
The City of Wodonga is located in Victoria’s north east, about 300 kilometres from Melbourne. The City, along with its near neighbour, Albury in NSW, is located in a strategic location on the main Melbourne-Sydney freeway and railway. The history of residential development in Wodonga dates back to the 1850s, when a town was established becoming an important river port for the Ovens goldfields. The opening of the railway to Melbourne as well as the opening up of pastoral runs resulted in the town becoming a major stock selling centre, with a population of 900 in 1901 increasing to over 3,000 by 1947. The town has expanded rapidly in the post war period, assisted in part by the Albury-Wodonga region being designated as a national growth centre in the 1970s. In this period, a number of manufacturing industries were attracted to the area and the subsequent economic development has seen the population double between the 1970s and 1990s, reaching 27,000 by 1991. In this period much of the residential development occurred in the small areas of Belvoir, Melrose and Federation Park.
The City of Wodonga has had a slightly increasing population through the 1990s, with much of this growth sourced from migrants from the surrounding rural and regional LGAs. Similar to most rural and regional centres, the City also loses persons to Melbourne in net terms, most notably young adults moving to study or to access employment.
It is assumed that a number of these patterns will continue into the future, most notably flows into the City from surrounding areas. The migration flows within Wodonga are expected to reflect where the supply of residential land is located (destination) and where young people have grown up and left home (source).
Population and household forecasts, 2016 to 2036, prepared by .id the population experts, November 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
With the progressive residential development of the City, the availability of land for development and the range of land uses, areas have developed different roles within the housing market. Wodonga (Central), Martin Park and Belvoir attract a large number of persons in their late teens and early twenties, attracted in part by the availability of rental accommodation. An area such as Felltimber is reaching the end of their development phase and can be expected to experience some net loss of young adults and school leavers over the forecast period. New greenfield areas such as White Box Rise, North Leneva, Barandudah and the Riverside and Meridian Estates are expected to attract a range of young and mature families seeking to upgrade their dwelling or establishing new households. The more rural parts of the City are also attractive to families seeking a rural environment and a new lifestyle. This variety of function and role of the small areas in the City of Wodonga means that population outcomes differ significantly across the municipality.
There are also significant differences in the supply of residential property within the City which will also have a major influence in structuring different population and household futures over the forecast period. Large new 'greenfield' opportunities have been identified in the growth areas, notably Baranduda, Killara - Bandiana, White Box Rise, Wodonga East and Wodonga South. There is also considerable development expected in the longer term in North Leneva. There are likely to be other greenfield, rural residential and most notably infill development opportunities throughout the City, albeit at lower levels than the major growth areas identified above.