The council is expecting population for Goulburn Mulwaree to exceed expectations, given a flood of residential development applications.
Newly released data shows the region is on track to clock up the highest value of residential building approvals ever recorded, a spokesman says.
Planners processed nearly $66 million in residential building approvals for the period July, 2020 to February, 2021. They expect this to significantly exceed the previous 2018/19 financial year record of $74.8m in residential development.
"The year 2020 was an incredibly difficult year for the Australian economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but locally we have been able to continue to grow and are rebounding quickly," Mayor Bob Kirk said.
"The numbers of development applications being submitted each week continue to surprise me, and this is obviously being reflected in building approval data. I am certainly going to look towards the results of the Census in August being undertaken later this year with interest, as I expect our population growth figures to be strong."
Development applications lodged are trending upwards, with the total rising from 365 in 2019 to 433 in 2020. When including modifications, complying development, subdivision certificates, construction certificates and other planning certificates the total figure rose from 2,013 in 2019, to 2,267 in 2020.
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Upper level forecasts within the Goulburn Mulwaree Urban and Fringe Housing Strategy predicted population growth in region to 37,202 by 2036, with the average projection forecasting growth to 35,176 residents.
"It would not be unrealistic to now predict that the population of Goulburn Mulwaree will reach 40,000 by 2036," Cr Kirk said.
The Mayor has spoken to Premier Gladys Berejiklian about the need to plan infrastructure to accommodate this growth. The Premier has sanctioned the council taking up these needs with individual Ministers.
But in recent time the council has also expressed concern about the proliferation of dual occupancies, or 'granny flats' and their impact on amenity and infrastructure. The trend is manifesting at Marys Mount and the Joseph's Gate subdivision, among other housing estates.
Meantime, employment in the region is also on the rise, with Goulburn Mulwaree coming through the economic effects of the pandemic remarkably well. There are still a lot of lives I can help': Senior Constable Barbara Beard has no plans to slow down
"The unemployment rate as of the end of 2020 for the LGA was five per cent, and I expect that this will fall even further when we receive our statistics to the end of March this year. We compare favourably with regional NSW where unemployment is as high as 5.9pc, and Australia which was at 6.5pc at the end of the year," Cr Kirk said.
The 2021 census will provide a snapshot of who we are, and how the region is changing. It will be held on Tuesday, August 10 2021, with results expected to be released in mid-2022.
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