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South west boom, but don’t forget the elephant in the room

elephant in the room

Massive population growth will put pressure on key link roads such as Badgally Road in Campbelltown

Only those just back from Mars wouldn’t be aware that the north west and the south west are the two great growth parts of the Sydney metropolitan area.

Funny thing is that when the south west is being discussed, it’s always about Liverpool and Camden.

Most people tend to forget that the elephant in the room is Campbelltown.

There are good reasons for this of course, but just to be sure I went and checked some population data crunched by experts called .id.

What has happened in Campbelltown is that after a great period of growth of almost three decades, things ground to a halt at the turn of the millennium.

In fact, they started going backwards.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics figures crunched by .id, in 2004 Campbelltown’s population was static; it didn’t go up or down.

But a year later was the first of three years which saw the local population go down for the first time in, possibly, its entire history.

They were small in number these reductions, but significant in that organisations such as the council plan on the basis of higher demand for their services.

But in 2007 the trend was reversed and Campbelltown’s started growing again, by less than half of one percent, but at least it was going the right direction.

Last year, 2013, was the best of those years, with an increase of 1.24 percent, pushing the total population of Campbelltown up to 154, 538.

But .id also do forecasts, and this is where it gets interesting for Campbelltown.

Elephant in the roomFirst of all, by 2031, Campbelltown will have a population of 191,799, an increase of 23 per cent. That’s almost 20,000 more people calling Campbelltown home in 15-16 years.

And even more interesting is the forecast that the rural residential population of Campbelltown will jump from just 2,880 in 2013 to 11,874!

Maybe .id know something we don’t, because unless the five acre lots of Kentlyn, Minto Heights, Wedderburn and the Scenic Hills are rezoned for suburban housing it’s hard to see where all these extra people will live.

Be that as it may, it is clear that Campbelltown has started growing again and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future.

Which means they will soon be experiencing the same growth problems as Camden and Liverpool.

And it can stop being the elephant in the room.

* To assist local residents, students, community groups and organisations in using ABS Census data, Campbelltown Council is hosting a free community information session next Tuesday, November 18, to demonstrate the effective use of Council’s Community Profile, Social Atlas, Population Forecasts and Economic Profile information based on the most recent Census. While the session may be of interest to anyone living or working in Campbelltown City, the information will be particularly helpful to those advocating for, delivering services to, or seeking funding for the local community.  If you wish to attend you must RSVP by this Friday, November 14. To do so ring 4645 4198.

 

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