Melbourne has again dominated Australia’s population growth, adding 77,242 people in 2011-12 to reach mid-2012 with a population of almost 4.25 million. New estimates released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show five of the eight municipalities recording the nation’s biggest growth were in Melbourne – three in the outer northern and western suburbs, one in the south-east, and the city of Melbourne itself.
Victoria added 88,966 people to close the financial year with 5.624 million people, just under 25 per cent of all Australians. Australia added almost 360,000 people, and the Bureau estimates its population hit 23 million last week. It was the 11th year in a row that the bureau estimates that Melbourne led the nation’s growth. In that time, the city’s population has grown by more than 750,000, or almost a quarter, imposing new strains on an infrastructure designed for far fewer people.
Planning Minister Matthew Guy said the city’s population was growing by 1500 a week, or equal to the combined growth of Brisbane, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Newcastle and Canberra. “There is no sign of that growth slowing. That growth is continuing and has continued now for the best part of 10 years,” Mr. Guy said. “It is the policy challenge we face in planning for today and the future.”
He said many of the problems in urban areas arose because growth was not managed well in the last decade: “We didn’t plan well on a state level for growth.”
Wyndham, cantered on Werribee, had the biggest growth of any municipality in Australia, adding 12,822 people. That is more than the entire annual population growth of Victoria at one stage under the Kennett government.
Whittlesea had the second biggest growth in the nation. Melton was fifth, Casey sixth, and the City of Melbourne eighth.
The city’s population centre remained in Glen Iris, but most of its population growth came north and west of the Yarra, a dramatic change from 20th-century patterns, which saw it spread in a lopsided way to the south-east.
*Article by Tim Colebatch and Jason Dowling, ‘The Age’ May 1, 2013