Pyrenees Shire one of 12 councils across the state to record population decline

The Pyrenees Shire Council says it is “not concerned” the shire is one of 12 local government areas (LGA) in Victoria to face a population decrease over the past year.

The data comes from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and found the Pyrenees’ population dropped from 7358 in 2017 to 7353 in 2018, a decline of five.

The drop came alongside shires including Campaspe, which also had a population decrease of five, and Buloke who’s figures dropped by 21 from 6205 to 6184.

Pyrenees Shire CEO Jim Nolan said council is “not concerned” with the population figures and that it has already developed a growth strategy.

“Pyrenees Shire Council is not concerned that the latest estimated residential population figures reflect that the shire’s population declined by five people,” he said.

“In 2015 council developed a growth strategy which projected that our shire’s population would grow to 7227 people by the year 2021, so we are already well ahead of our population forecast.

“In the period between the 2011 and 2016 censuses, the population in the Pyrenees grew at a healthy rate of around 1.5 percent per annum.”

Mr Nolan said the shire is also working with other councils to attract new residents to the region.

“Pyrenees Shire Council is also currently working closely with Ararat Rural City and Northern Grampians Shire on a project called OPAN (Opportunities for Pyrenees, Ararat and Northern Grampians) which aims to attract skilled and non-skilled workers and their families to our region to live in our three shires,” he said.

“There is an urgent need to build a workforce to fill the significant number of jobs being generated in the region.

“We anticipate that in excess of 1000 jobs will be created over the coming five years based on private and public investment planned or currently underway.”

For more on this story see the Front Page of The Advertiser, Tuesday, April 9

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