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“House Prices Drive Melburnians From Inner Suburbs”

Source: Herald Sun
Date:Wednesday 31 March 2010
Author: Felicity Williams

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“Wyndham has emerged as the epi-centre of Victoria’s population boom as Melbourne residents flock to the urban fringe.

About 30 people a day are flooding into the outer south-western suburbs, lured by cheap house-and-land packages. That’s the largest and fastest population growth in the state.

The number of Wyndham shire residents jumped 10,800 to 143,900 last financial year, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Casey, southeast of Melbourne, recorded the second largest population growth for 2008-09, adding 8400 residents to bring its population to 247,400.

Melton, to the city’s west, took third place, up 7300 people to 100,000.

Social analyst David Chalke said Melbourne’s chronic real estate shortage was pushing prospective home buyers out from the inner city.

“It’s basically down to a shortage of housing in Melbourne’s inner suburbs,” he said. “The population has been growing well ahead of the number of new houses people are building.

“This has pushed up the price of inner suburban houses well beyond the realms of any first home buyer, and all the new land that’s being released for development is on the urban fringes.”

Demographer Bernard Salt said Melbourne’s migration patterns reflected the city’s fascination with suburbia.

“There is a suggestion that we need to relinquish the suburbs and move to high-rise apartments,” he said.

“Maybe in 50 years you’ll get us to let go of our suburbs, but in the short term we’re not going anywhere.”

“We’ll defend our quarter-acre block, even if that quarter-acre block  is now about a fifth of an acre.”

In regional Victoria, Geelong boasted the largest population growth, attracting 4000 new residents in the year to June 30, 2009.

Ballarat and Bendigo tied in second place, both welcoming 2100 people to their cities.

The areas along the Great Ocean Road and around Baw Baw also posted fast population growth, thanks to the hordes of sea-changers and tree-changers seeking a slower pace of life.

Victoria’s only places to post big population declines were those devastated by the Black Saturday bushfires.

Murrindindi, which includes towns such as Marysville and Buxton, shrank by 1000 residents after the inferno destroyed 1300 houses in the area.

Australia should consider planning neighbourhoods where life’s daily needs are within a 15-minute walk, it has been claimed.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh gave the opening address at a forum in Brisbane on how to manage growth in Queensland – a state  with six of the 10 fastest growing areas in Australia.

She said a return to the community of the corner shop and the neighbourhood cinema and park could be the way of the future.

“We could be thinking locally of 15-minute neighbourhoods – where everything you need to live and play is within 15 minute’s walking distance,” Ms Bligh said.

Demographer Bernard Salt offered the “mosaic city” as an alternative to urban sprawl. This would include a densely populated innter-city but decentralised jobs in outer suburbs.”

 

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