Shire of HarveyPopulation forecast

This forecast has been updated with 2016 Census dwelling counts and the 2016 Estimated Resident Population. More information can be found here.

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Shire of Harvey

Drivers of population change

Development history

The Shire of Harvey is located in the South West Region of Western Australia, about 140 kilometres south of Perth. The Shire is largely rural, with growing residential and rural-residential areas in several townships. As of 2011, just over half the population of the Shire (51%) live in the town of Australind, the towns of Harvey and Leschenault make up the other sizeable population centres in the LGA. Smaller townships such as Binningup, Brunswick Junction, Cookernup and Yarloop and the remaining rural area make up the balance of the Shire’s population.

The original inhabitants of the Gingin area were a number of different Aboriginal tribes, known collectively as Nyungar. European settlement dates from the 1840s when the first settlers arrived at Australind, around the same time settlers were also moving southward from Pinjarra into the Harvey area. Growth took place during the late 1800s and early 1900s, spurred by the establishment of townships, the opening of the railway line from Perth, irrigation and growth in the timber industry. Towns situated along the new rail line such as Brunswick Junction and Harvey developed quickly servings as centres for the surrounding rural areas.

Migration patterns

The population of the Shire gradually increased from about 3,600 in 1911 to about 5,400 in 1933, and continued to increase to about 6,800 in 1961, then declining slightly to about 6,500 in 1971. The 1970s brought significant residential expansion at Australind, operating as a suburb of Bunbury. The population grew to about 9,600 in 1986, to about 15,000 in 1996, and then to about 24,000 in 2011.

During the 1990s through to the 2000s, population growth in the Shire focused increasingly around Australind. The primary housing market role that the Shire played over this period was to provide residential housing options for families and retirees generally originating from metropolitan Perth, Bunbury or from overseas. These trends are likely to continue into the future, with a number of ‘greenfield’ development opportunities ongoing in Australind along with another substantial residential sites earmarked at Binningup Beach and to a lesser extent in Harvey township.

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

Population and household forecasts, 2016 to 2041, 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 variety of medium and low density residential estates as well as rural locations, different areas within the Shire of Harvey have developed different roles within the housing market. Australind caters to a younger family market as well as retirees, while Leschenault tends to attract more mature and established families. Coastal areas like Binningup - Myalup - Parkfield attracts families along with high numbers of retiree households while the more rural areas of the Shire such as Harvey District, Rural North - Yarloop and Rural South - Brunswick attract mostly younger family households with lower levels of retirees.

All areas of the Shire lose young adults as they seek employment and educational opportunities in larger centres. This trend is common to most areas on the periphery of major cities in Australia. This variety of function and role of the small areas in the Shire of Harvey means that population outcomes differ significantly across the Shire.

Housing supply

There are also differences in the supply of future residential land within the Shire which will also have a major influence in structuring different population and household futures over the next five to ten years. New major development opportunities have been identified in Australind and Binningup Beach. Leschenault has reached the end of its development cycle limiting development opportunities in the future, while Harvey District contains a number of ongoing residential estates as well as an ample supply of developable residential land for the future. Rural South - Brunswick has large areas of low density residential land which are likely to be developed in the near future while Yarloop is expected to recover a large proportion of dwellings lost to the 2016 bushfires.

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