By Olivia Condous
Moorabool has been named as one of the top ‘big movers’ in Australia, recording a whopping 56 per cent increase in the migration of people to the area since March last year.
The shire is in the top five regional local government areas across the country with the highest percentage increase in people moving to the region in the 12 months leading up to March 2022, according to a new report from the Regional Australia Institute and Commonwealth Bank.
Moorabool also saw the highest migration increase of any regional area in the state.
According to the data, gathered from 10 million Commonwealth Bank users, the number of people migrating to the regions in Australia increased by 16.6 per cent to reach a new five-year high in the March quarter, almost doubling pre-pandemic levels.
In Moorabool, the majority of the people moving in were in the 24 to 40 year old age bracket at 52 per cent, followed by those aged between 40 to 56 years old at 24 per cent and the age group 24 years and younger made up 12 per cent.
Regional Institute Australia chief economist Dr Kim Houghton said while the pandemic had seen the trend of moving to the regions accentuated, it was nothing new.
“For at least the last 15 years in Australia, we’ve seen a general flow of people from the cities to the regions,” Dr Houghton said.
“A lot of people are asking, will there be a U-turn effect… we’re a very mobile country by international standards, so that sort of notion that this is a one-off move and people will stay in a place like Moorabool for the rest of their lives, it just doesn’t happen.
“The vast majority of us are moving in and out, particularly this millennial crowd, they’re highly mobile.”
Moorabool mayor Tom Sullivan said the council wasn’t surprised by the report findings.
“This report confirms what we already knew, that there is exponential growth in our municipality,” Cr Sullivan said.
Cr Sullivan cited the Moorabool 2041 strategic initiative, adopted in 2011, as an integral factor in managing the growth that the shire has experienced in the population since.
“What rapidly increasing population does is put pressure on us as a council to provide the extra services that are required, there is high demand for Council services and services run by other agencies in areas such as aged care, children, health, recreation and education.
“We will continue to advocate strongly to the State and Federal governments to make sure we are adequately funded to cater for the growth we are experiencing.”