20 March 2021

ACT population hits 420,000, driven by overseas migration

| Ian Bushnell
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The many apartments that dot this oasis create an energy that flows through to the dozens of bars, cafes, and eateries. Photo: George Tsotsos.

The high-growth areas reflect the shift to higher density living and the apartment boom, exemplified by Kingston. Photo: George Tsotsos.

More than half the increase in the ACT’s population last financial year was the result of overseas migration, according to new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The ACT was the second fastest growing capital in the nation in 2017-18, with the population up by 2.2 per cent or 8935 from 412,025 to 420,960 in 2017-18, with 54 per cent (4795) of new Canberrans coming from overseas, 40 per cent (3582) being natural increase and 6 per cent (558) from interstate.

The growth rate was unchanged from the previous year.

The new northern suburbs of Moncrieff, up 1800 people, and Lawson (1000) had the largest increase in population, while the fastest growing areas at 19 per cent were Greenway in Tuggeranong, where there has been a surge in unit and townhouse development, and the new suburb of Coombs in the Molonglo Valley.

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Greenway and Coombs ranked nine and 10 respectively in the fastest growing areas in the nation.

The other big movers reflect Canberra’s move to higher density living and the apartment boom.

Phillip, where the Woden Town Centre is being transformed by medium and high-rise apartments, grew 9.4 per cent, while another suburb dominated by multi-storey units, Wright in Molonglo, was up 8.7 per cent.

The inner south downsizers’ enclave of Kingston, grew 7.4 per cent, driven by the Foreshore development.

Then there is Belconnen (5.7 per cent), Crace (4.7 per cent), Campbell (4.5 per cent), Griffith (4.4 per cent), Braddon (4.3 per cent) next to the City, Forrest (3.9 per cent) and Barton (3.5 per cent).

In Gungahlin, Franklin and Harrison grew 3.9 per cent.

In future years, big population increases can be expected in the Town Centres of Gungahlin, Belconnen and Woden, and in Braddon and the City as high-rise residential precincts are completed, not to mention the developments along the Northbourne Avenue corridor, where adjacent suburbs experienced growth of 2-3 per cent.

Many areas of Tuggeranong and Weston Creek lost population, as did some of the older areas of Belconnen.

The ABS said Melbourne again was the capital city with the largest population increase (119,400 people), and also the highest growth rate of any capital at 2.5 per cent.

Brisbane was up 50,100, with the third highest growth rate of 2.1 per cent, while Sydney grew by 93,400 or 1.8 per cent.

Together, these three capitals accounted for over 65 per cent of Australia’s population growth in 2017-18, with Greater Sydney having 5,230,330 people, Melbourne 4,963,349 and Brisbane 2,462,637.

Darwin was the only capital city to experience a population decline in 2017-18, losing 360 people (-0.2 per cent).

“The number of people living in our capital cities increased by 307,800 people (1.9 per cent) in 2017-18”, said ABS Demography Director Beidar Cho. “This in on par with the average growth over the previous three years”.

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HiddenDragon6:24 pm 01 Apr 19

The Big Canberra component of the Big Australia demographic experiment raises a number of sustainability issues, including water – particularly with the push now very obviously on to supply Yass with water from the Canberra system.

The graph of 10 year storage levels on this page is not a pretty picture –


420 ganjahlin

does that mean money will be spent on Tuggeranong now that we have growth?

I hope not. Tuggeranong got their share in the 80’s and early 90’s when that was the growth area.

Money should be invested in maintaining older areas and growing new areas like Molongolo.

People have been through this before and it’s a furphy. Even ACT Labor politicians don’t believe this claim that Tuggeranong got their investment in the 80s and 90s the same as other Canberra areas before them had got. Self government for canberra pulled all the planned road duplications, advanced education, public amenities, housing west of the Hyperdome, sports facilities and government services from happening as originally promised and planned.

Tuggeranong was meant to get the same facilities and infrastructure as Belconnen under the 1967 Y plan, but it got pulled at a later date.

Spatial audits have demonstrated that Tuggeranong hasn’t been funded properly, even the leading expert in ACT demography calls Tuggeranong “the land that time forgot”.

I know I’m out of step with the Sydney shock jocks but I like a growing population because it creates jobs and economic growth and leads to more diversity. I was against multiculturalism until around ten years ago but then realised how much better Australia had become because of it. It seems a win-win for all concerned.

Agreed John, so long as the investment in infrastructure is made to support the increased population. This hasn’t happened, in Canberra or in the rest of Australia. The money has, instead, been spent on recurring expenditure.

Capital Retro11:29 pm 29 Mar 19

And it’s borrowed money which can never be repaid. How stupid are the people running this country?

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