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Bass Coast Local News:
Bass Coast Is Growing!

Provisions need to provide an appropriate infrastructure while preserving the beauty of the area

By Carol McCormack - 25th June 2002 - Back to News

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Bass Coast Shire Council’s population is growing at almost 3 times the national average according to 2001 Census figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics earlier this week.

Bass Coast’s population increased by 16.32% since 1996. The average national population growth is 6% since 1996.

Bass Coast is also growing more rapidly than any other area in Gippsland. The Shire’s average annual growth rate is 3.62%. The Gippsland annual average is 0.52%. The Victorian annual average was 1.21%.

On Census night 2001 there were 24,075 people counted in Bass Coast. In 1996 there were 20,147.

"The ABS figures confirm Council’s belief that over the past few years that more and more people are calling Bass Coast home," said Cr John Gains, Mayor of Bass Coast Shire Council. "People have started to realise the area’s beautiful environment, laid back lifestyle, good services and proximity to Melbourne make it a terrific place to live."

Cr Gains said that Council has been planning services and infrastructure based on the idea that our communities will continue to grow.

"Our planning statistics have reflected consistent growth over the past few years," said Cr Gains.

Council received 881 planning applications in 2000. In 2001 that number increased by 39% to 1,227 applications.

"Without a doubt the increase in population means Council has to try and provide more infrastructure and resources to the community," said Cr Gains.

"More traffic on the roads means more maintenance and more homes mean more services such as rubbish collection," he said. "More people also means more demands on human services such as home care for the elderly or disabled, youth services and maternal and child health services."

Cr Gains said that he believes that Council’s Home and Community Care Services (HACC) in particular will be under increasing demand in the future.

"The ABS figures also showed that we have an older than average population, which means that it is likely that more of our residents in the future will need HACC services," said Cr Gains.

In 2001 the median age in Bass Coast was 43 years old. The median age in Australia was 35 years. This median age in Bass Coast had increased from 40 years in 1996 & 37 years in 1991.

According to the statistics, 19% of Bass Coast residents are aged between 0-14 years. The lowest populated age bracket was 15-24 years, with only around 9% of residents in this age bracket. 24 % of residents were aged between 25-44. The 45-64 years aged bracket had the most respondents at 26% of Bass Coast’s population. 22% of the Bass Coast population was 65 years and over in 2001.

"The Census data illustrates some of the challenges that Council is already dealing with and will have to deal with in the future," said Cr Gains. "Our population is increasing, and we need to provide appropriate infrastructure while preserving the beauty of the area."

"Our population is getting older, so we need to make sure we tap into the experience of our older residents while making sure they have access to appropriate facilities and services," he said.

"Another of Council’s challenges is to try and attract younger people and young families to Bass Coast," said Cr Gains. "This means trying to facilitate new business in the area, which will provide new jobs and providing facilities for people of this age."

"The sharp drop in the number of 15-24 year olds may indicated that young people leave the area to go to university or to seek employment in the city," he said. "It is important to keep young people who grew up here by providing education and jobs."


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