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CONTROVERSIAL 2016 CENSUS FIGURES COULD AFFECT FUTURE ISLAND FUNDING

August 10, 2017

CONTROVERSIAL 2016 CENSUS FIGURES COULD AFFECT FUTURE ISLAND FUNDING

 

The controversial 2016 Census Figures have come up with some debatable figures for our group of islands.

The 2016 census was controversial because it was the first ever to fully utilise the internet which saw the website’s unfortunate crash.

It resulted in the census being offline for more than two days, and came after weeks of discussion about the privacy and security of the 2016 survey.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull launched an investigation into the incident, and said "which heads roll, where and when, will be determined once the review is complete".

Whether ‘heads rolled’ we are not so sure, but some of the results have come into question.

There are certainly some aspects about figures produced for our Bay islands.

Despite problems hampering the collection of data, the bureau says it was confident most of the population still filled out the census.

When it comes to island figures and population growth, some believe that figures for our islands may not be ‘very accurate’ nor reflect the true population.

This may well have something to do with the relatively high turnover of residents on our islands.

There was growth on Russell and Macleay Islands, but nowhere near as high as previous ‘guesstimates’ have indicated

There was only minimal growth on Lamb, Karragarra and Coochimudlo Islands.

And on North Stradbroke Island, growth was stagnant in some centres and regressive in others.

It is in the area of house numbers where possible flaws in the census system are likely.

At Dunwich, the census indicates that the village actually had fewer homes in 2016 than it did when the last census was held in 2011. In one part of the census it says there are 10 less homes in 2016 on North Stradbroke than in 2011, and for Dunwich it says there are five less homes in that period of time!

According to the 2016 figures, the four Bay Islands of Russell, Macleay, Lamb and Karragarra had 6153 residents living in 3997 homes.

This equates to just over one person per home, which is nowhere near the norm for average home occupation which is supposed to be 2.5 persons per home.

The Census claims at the time of the 2016 Census there were 2836 people on Russell Island  (2011 @ 2473); 2681 on Macleay Island  (2011 @2572); 432 on Lamb Island (427); and 204 Karragarra (160).

On Coochiemudlo Island the 2016 population on Census night was 753 compared to 768 in 2011.

On North Stradbroke Island where the Census figures are quite complicated because the island is broken up into four separate sections, the figures show overall a decrease in population from 1455 in 2016 to 2026 in 2011.

Whilst Point Lookout saw a small population growth over nearly 40 people in the four year period, Amity, Dunwich saw declines of 11 and 19 respectively.

Home building growth was supposed to be much higher than indicated by the figures, given Redland City Council has experienced strong building applications over the four years.

The Census, however, shows  a growth of 203 homes from 1586 to 1789 on Russell Island, 98 homes on Macleay Island from 1623 to 1721, with only minor home building increased on Lamb (323 to 330), 147 to 157 on Karragarra and 595 to 597 on Coochimudlo. 

The North Stradbroke Island number of homes figures make little sense showing 10 additional homes in areas apart from Dunwich, Amity and Point Lookout, with 35 additional at Point Lookout, 39 extra at Amity and 19 less at Dunwich.

Unfortunately, these figures are used by Government to decide on future infrastructure and services spending.

If, as many suspect, the figures are way lower than what is actual, then our island could miss out on future funding.

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