Western Melbourne overtakes the Gold Coast on population growth

By Angela Dorizas

The western edge of Melbourne has become the fastest growing region in Australia, according to new research.

KPMG demographer Bernard Salt said the municipalities of Wyndham and Melton added 18,000 new residents over the past 12 months to June 2009. They have overtaken the Gold Coast by 1000 residents to become Australia’s fastest growing region.

Mr Salt said the finding had come as a surprise to KPMG researchers.

“This extraordinary growth in Melbourne’s West has come out of the blue,” he said.

“Just ten years earlier this region was attracting approximately 4000 new residents per year, but is now attracting more people than the Gold Coast.”

Mr Salt said Melbourne was “rebalancing to the West” due to housing affordability.

“There are new house and land packages on the market in Werribee for less than $280,000, compared to Melton South where packages start at around $260,000.”

The research also found that over the next decade the Western edge was projected to add 175,000 residents and 82,000 dwellings.

The analysis was commissioned by the Western Bulldogs in order to better understand the western suburbs community. It drew together official population estimates and forecasts, making comparisons with other regions throughout Australia.

Other findings:

  • Corporate Australia and the property development industry are well represented in Melbourne’s west, with many head offices located in the region.
  • Over the last 20 years most growth in Melbourne’s west has been in the ‘family’ stage of the lifecycle (between 30 and 55).
  • Over the next 20 years there will be a surge in the under-20 population and the grandparent population (aged 60-80) in Melbourne’s west.
  • Melbourne residents have experienced a change in attitude towards the west following the completion of the Westgate Bridge more than 30 years ago and the opening of the Western Ring Road in 1998.

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