Cloncurry Shire Community Plan. Background Report 1: demographic profile of Cloncurry Shire

Harwood, Sharon, and McGrath, louise (2012) Cloncurry Shire Community Plan. Background Report 1: demographic profile of Cloncurry Shire. Report. Centre for Tropical Urban and Regional Planning, Cairns, QLD, Australia. (Unpublished)

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What is a Community Plan?

A Community Plan is a planning document that looks at medium and long range community needs and aspirations. The Plan is used to inform all other Council planning processes, including corporate planning, strategic land use planning and infrastructure planning.

The Local Government Act 2009 requires Council to create a Community Plan. There is no specific format or process that a Council must go through to create a Community Plan, each Council develops their own approach to meet the needs of the respective communities.

The Cloncurry Community Plan

The Cloncurry Shire is working with James Cook University (JCU) and the communities within the Shire to develop their Community Plan. This report summarises the demographic characteristics of the Cloncurry Shire.

The demographic profile of the Cloncurry Shire community, illustrates that the community shares many demographic features common to communities where the predominant economic activity within the shire includes mining and mine support activities. These demographic features are a result of the presence of temporary workers and long distance commuters who are counted on Census nights, and whose presence invariably impacts upon the local community, affecting education, housing, household composition and employment to name a few.

This demographic profile also tells us that the Cloncurry community is quite different to the Queensland community, and whilst performing better in some aspects such as unemployment, income and labour force participation, there are other aspects that Cloncurry should do better, in particular education and addressing socio-economic disadvantage.

To briefly summarise a sample of the key findings:

• Cloncurry is home to greater numbers of working age people and these people enjoy higher wages than their Queensland counterparts. There are many more males than females in all age cohorts from 5 years of age all the way to 84 years of age, leading to a large degree of gender imbalance in certain age cohorts.

• Cloncurry's overall population is highly dependent upon mining activities occurring within the shire. Whilst population rise and fall cannot be directly attributed to certain mining activities such as construction and decommissioning, population change can generally be linked to mine expansion and contraction activities. These changes in the population from one Census period to the next roughly lie between 15 and 20 percent. It is expected that there will be minimal population growth to 2031.

• Incomes are higher in Cloncurry than for Queensland, and incomes are higher in Cloncurry than in other smaller centres such as Dajarra. Higher incomes are not evenly distributed. For example males enjoy higher incomes than females because males are employed more commonly in mining and service related industries that support mining. The majority of weekly individual incomes in Dajarra are in the $150 to $249 bracket. The Census data suggests issues related to equality occurring across Cloncurry Shire – with opportunities to earn a good income limited for some.

• Cloncurry scored low on indexes of Socio-Economic Disadvantage. Additional research is likely to uncover areas of extreme Socio-Economic Disadvantage given that the presence of temporary workers and long-distance commuters in the mining industry may be raising SEIFA scores to levels greater than what they would be (if such work arrangements were less common).

• There is a significant drop in the age cohort 15 to 19 years, which is likely to be attributed to students leaving Cloncurry to complete their high school education outside of the shire. This in turn has impacts upon tertiary education rates and potentially population levels. Tertiary education rates are lower in Cloncurry than for Queensland and it is possible that these students who leave Cloncurry to complete their schooling may never return.

• The percentage of family household types has fallen over time, and the percentage of couple families with children is the family household type that has decreased the most. These have been replaced with increases in non-family household types such as lone, group and other household types.

• The housing market in the shire is small, and although real estate and Census statistics show no indication of housing stress and affordability issues, this is in conflict with primary data obtained as part of Community Plan surveying by the research team. It is known that a significant proportion of rental accommodation is subsidised in Cloncurry Shire and these subsidies aren't captured through available Census statistics.

Item ID: 34820
Item Type: Report (Report)
Related URLs:
Funders: Cloncurry Shire Council
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2014 05:43
FoR Codes: 12 BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN > 1205 Urban and Regional Planning > 120501 Community Planning @ 100%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940199 Community Service (excl. Work) not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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