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City of Greater SheppartonPopulation forecast

City of Greater Shepparton

Drivers of population change

Development history

The City of Greater Shepparton is located at the confluence of the Goulburn and Broken Rivers in northern Victoria, about 180 kilometres north of Melbourne. Shepparton is the major urban centre of the City, with Mooroopna and Tatura the other large centres in the City. Other smaller centres include Murchison, Merrigum, Dookie, Kialla West, Tallygaroopna, Toolamba, Shepparton East and Katandra West. The City is the commercial, manufacturing and transport capital of the Goulburn Valley, which is one of Australia’s major horticultural and food production areas. The City’s growth has been associated with the development of agricultural industries in the area, such as stone fruit, pear, apple, tomato and dairy production, as well as cattle, sheep and grain production. The strong agricultural base has promoted a range of food-based manufacturing industries in the City, notably fruit canneries, dairies, soup and sauce plants. In addition, there is significant engineering and equipment production in the City, notably Furphys foundry.

More than 50% of the population in the City of Greater Shepparton is employed in health care and social assistance, retail trade, manufacturing and education and training. As the major regional centre for the Goulburn Valley, Shepparton is relatively self-contained in employment terms and indeed many people travel to parts of the City from the neighbouring Shires for work, education and services. Future changes to population will be mainly associated with employment growth or decrease in these industries as well as further development of tourism.

The population of the City of Greater Shepparton has grown substantially during the post-war period from a population of just over 20,000 in 1947 to almost 64,000 in 2016. The dominant drivers for population gain during these periods have been:

  • In-migration of families
  • Employment growth in services such as retail trade, health and education
  • Consolidation of agricultural industries and growth in value-adding

A range of new employment and investment opportunities have been identified which should spur population growth into the future. These include the Shepparton Bypass project, the road-rail interchange at Mooroopna and additional production jobs at Unilever in Tatura.

Migration patterns

Migration gain to Greater Shepparton tends to be based on families from overseas as well as young adults from neighbouring Shires. Many young people also leave the City after completing their secondary education, with a number of them migrating to Melbourne or places with strong job prospects like Queensland. Between 2001 and 2016 there has also been an increase in retirees as well as the elderly moving to the City as a number of new ‘lifestyle villages’ were constructed.

It is assumed that a most of these patterns will continue into the future, most notably flows of families into the City from overseas and from surrounding rural areas and losses of young people to larger centres, albeit in lower numbers.

Historical migration flows, City of Greater Shepparton, 2011-2016

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.

Housing role and function

With the size of the City of Greater Shepparton and its varied land use and local economy, different areas within the City have developed different roles in the housing market. Shepparton Central and Shepparton North Central tend to attract young adults due to their centrality of location and their proximity to services and available rental accommodation. Areas such as Mooroopna, Shepparton North West and Shepparton South East tend to attract young couples and families, with affordable home owning opportunities. Kialla Urban, Shepparton Surrounds East and Shepparton Surrounds South tends to attract older families with more equity, while the rural areas (East, North, North West and South) and Shepparton North East tend to attract a combination of young and mature families.

Housing supply

There are also significant differences in the supply of future residential land within the City which will also have a major influence in structuring different population and household futures over the next twenty-five years. Significant development opportunities have been identified in fringe areas in both the north and south of Shepparton, as well as Mooroopna and Tatura. The largest amounts of dwelling and population growth are anticipated in Kialla Urban, Shepparton South East, Shepparton South East, Shepparton North East and Mooroopna.

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