Saturday, March 24, 2018

Wagga Wagga, Tamworth 100,000 population growth targets

Interesting piece in the Northern Daily Leader by John Ellicott: Two NSW regional cities nominated as the next big thing(s) (23 March 2018). Apparently, Wagga Wagga and Tamworth (photo) have been pinpointed as the two big regional growth centres in NSW, with a push to turn them into 100,000 population centres. At the moment Wagga sits at about  64,000 people, while Tamworth has 41,000 people.

Deputy NSW Premier John Barilaro supports the 100,000 plus population targets. He said both cities had been pinpointed as major growth centres and there was no reason they could not achieve 100,000 populations. “We are of the opinion that if you build it, people will come, and that is what we are doing in these two places,” Mr Barilaro told The Land.

Wagga is selling itself as an education, health and agribusiness centre, while Tamworth is an important freight, food processing, services and possible international airfreight centre. Agriculture will remain one of the big economic drivers of both centres.

Tamworth mayor Col Murray said the agricultural sector was pushing Tamworth’s economic future, and its growth was “even better than Wagga’s”.

“Our growth has been far stronger than the state average,” Mr Murray said. New residential releases would be coming on stream by this Christmas, with 1600 housing lots. “We have large areas available for residential growth,” Mr Murray said. Also the building of the Arcadia industrial estate would create about 5000 jobs.

“We have consistent growth and this will only increase,” he said.

Achievement of a 100,000 population in a reasonable time frame requires both cities to achieve significantly higher growth rates than has been the case in recent years and especially in the case of Tamworth which has a lower starting point.

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