Regional cities – are they growing or slowing?

Simone - Myth Buster

Simone has a rich background in human geography, demography and urban planning – a background that was useful in her previous roles in the Commonwealth and State Governments, and now as part of the forecast team at .id. From the Queensland coast to the southern suburbs of Perth, Simone produces population and dwelling forecasts that help local governments make informed decisions about future service and planning needs. She is a regular contributor to .id’s blog and has spoken at several conferences on how our cities and regions are changing. She is a big advocate of evidence-based planning and how Census and other data can inform this. Outside of work Simone is a keen traveller and photographer – interests that tie in well with her professional life and help her to understand “place”.

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5 Responses

  1. Brett Flugge says:

    So how do Regional City centres like Mandurah and Bunbury compare in their rates of growth in the overall SUA classification rankings?

    There has been some recent debate in WA regarding Government giving more serious consideration to where should the next second City be planned and what strategies should be put in place to spread the future population distribution.

    • Simone Alexander says:

      Hi Brett,

      Thanks for your question – in the case of Mandurah and Bunbury it’s a matter of which geography you select. Bunbury is part of the SUA classification and between 2006 and 2016 grew by 2.5% pa which is around the average. It’s quite useful to have Bunbury as part of the SUA structure as the urban area now spills over into neighbouring LGAs. However, Mandurah isn’t part of the SUA structure (strange when you consider Ellenbrook is!) so you need to look at the LGA growth, which was 3.5% pa between 2006 and 2016.

  2. Brian says:

    So if you take out the regional centres that are essentially peri urban areas, how do the “proper” regional centres compare in terms of growth? Places that are a long way from their state capital like Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Dubbo, Albury-Wodonga etc. I wouldn’t even include Mandurah as it’s essentially an outer suburb of Perth. Same as the Gold and Sunshine Coasts – they’re too close to Brisbane to be considered regional in my opinion. I’d be far more interested in the regional areas that are ‘stand-alone’.

    • Simone Alexander says:

      Hi Brian – thanks for the feedback – I was trying to keep this blog fairly general but I take your point re “proper” regional centres. I basically took the data from the ABS release “Regional Population Growth” and the detailed data can be found on the downloads tab which I’ve linked here –

      The file with the Significant Urban Areas will answer your questions – quite a mixed bag!

  3. Brian says:

    Thanks Simone – much appreciated and very interesting read.

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