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Berrigan Shire is located in the Southern Riverina of New South Wales, about 270 kilometres north of Melbourne, and 670 kilometres west of Sydney. Berrigan Shire is a predominantly rural area, with settlement based in the townships of Barooga, Berrigan, Finley and Tocumwal. The rural area comprises both dry land and irrigated farming, with the dry land largely used for grazing sheep and cattle as well as cropping, with higher amounts of horticulture and dairying found in the southern irrigated areas.
The original inhabitants of the Berrigan Shire were the Wiradjuri Aboriginal people. European settlement dates from the late 1840s, with land used mainly for cropping and grazing. The Shire of Berrigan was established in 1906, the population varied during the early 20th century due to fluctuating environmental and economic conditions. The area was boosted by the opening of the Berrigan Irrigation Area in 1935, and expansion continued past the post-war years. The population of the Shire was estimated at 4,900 in 1947, increasing to about 7,075 by 1975. The population continued to grow from the 1980s through to the 2000s, rising to 8,100 in 2001, 8,200 in 2006 and finally 8,300 in 2011.
Most recent residential growth has focused in the southern part of the Shire, around the townships of Barooga and Tocumwal. The primary housing market role that Berrigan Shire has played during the post-war period was to attract families and retirees from areas further south, in particular from metropolitan Melbourne.
The role of Berrigan Shire as a destination for families and retirees is expected to continue over the forecast period. As a result of this, there is ongoing need for residential expansion within the Shire from both existing residents and from people moving to the area. It is assumed that a number of these patterns will continue into the future, most notably flows into the area from Victoria and losses of young people to larger centres, albeit in lower numbers.
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 based on answers to the census question "where did the person usually live 5-years ago" and .id estimates of international out-migration.
With the contrast of residential demand in the north and south of the LGA, different areas within Berrigan Shire have developed different roles within the housing market. Tocumwal - Barooga & District attract high numbers of retirees as well as both young and mature families, while Berrigan - Finley & District tends to attract younger family households. The function and role of these areas in Berrigan Shire means that population outcomes differ across the LGA.
The supply of residential property within the LGA will also have an influence in structuring different population and household futures within Berrigan Shire over the next five to ten years. New "greenfield" residential opportunities are available on the outskirts of most townships, with Tocumwal and Barooga expected to have the highest number of new dwellings. New development in Berrigan and Finley is based predominantly on residual residential land and infill of vacant lots.
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