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Thursday, 22 May 1980
Page: 3256

Dr Everingham asked the Minister for the Capital Territory, upon notice, on 13 May 1980:

(1)   Has his attention been drawn to reports in the Canberra Times of 1 May 1980 indicating (a) a significant loss of population and family size in the Canberra North area, ACT, and (b) an average new household size of 2.4 persons since 1976 compared to an average household size of 3.1 in Canberra at 1 May 1980 and 3.4 in 1976.

(2)   Can he say whether population loss in other regional centres is primarily due to young unemployed persons moving to metropolitan areas where there are more diverse employment and training opportunities; if so, does Canberra's experience differ from this.

(3)   Do the population figures conflict with the view that lower numbers of registered unemployed in Canberra are due to an anticipated private enterprise boom and moves of public offices to Canberra, as he suggested to the House on 30 April 1980 (Hansard, pages 2412-3).

Mr Ellicott - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Yes.

(2)   and (3) There is no conflict between the North Canberra population trends and my public statements on the Canberra employment situation

The declining population in parts of North Canberra is not a reflection of trends in the ACT economy, but is largely a consequence of normal demographic processes in the ageing population of an established area. For example, such factors are involved as higher levels of age related mortality, and grown up' children leaving their parents' dwellings to form their own households in other dwellings elsewhere. Many of these people have simply moved to newly developing areas of the ACT. This process is not comparable with population migration which may occur in regional or provincial centres that do not have employment or training opportunities for young people.

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