GAWLER Council experienced the fastest population growth amongst all of South Australia’s local government areas last year,
despite an overall sluggish population growth across the state.
Gawler’s population grew by 590 people, or 2.6 per cent – up to 23,192 – in the 12 months leading up to last September, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data released last month. This outpaced the rate of growth in all other council areas, as the state’s population grew by just 0.5 per cent overall.
Gawler Mayor Karen Redman said there was a variety of reasons behind the growth in Gawler, but that it has been helped by the numerous staged residential developments – particularly in Gawler East, Evanston Gardens and Evanston South – and “considerable commercial development”.
“We are seen as the number one choice for families and retirees who want to make their home here,” she said. “With excellent
schools and amenities, a growing local job market, country-style living and a strong heritage flavour, it’s very attractive.”
Overall, the Gawler Council area has grown by 3951 people since 2006, which is as far as the ABS data went back – an increase of just over 20.5 per cent.
By contrast, South Australia’s population has only expanded by 10 per cent during this period.
Mrs Redman said Gawler has always expected population growth, having been identified in the 30-Year Plan for Greater Adelaide
as an area rezoned for residential growth.
“Council has spent a fair bit of time strategically planning for this growth with some significant projects now under way, including the Gawler East link road and the Civic Centre redevelopment,” she said.
“Existing residential growth rates are predicted to continue over the next 10 to 20 years and council is preparing itself accordingly.”
At a township level, Nuriootpa recorded the fastest rate of growth outside the Greater Adelaide area, with 195 more people in September 2016 (three per cent growth).
Altogether, the Barossa, Light and Lower North regions experienced growth of 1112 people, bucking the trend felt across regional South Australia, which lost 109 people overall.
Barossa Mayor Bob Sloane said population targets for the Barossa, Light and Lower North regions have been set
through the 30-Year Plan for Greater Adelaide, which the council has not challenged.
“Our major townships continue to see normal rates of growth, with minor infill development occurring in the smaller settlements,” he said.