Carnarvon population growth, job opportunities sparks urgent call for more housing

Phoebe PinMidwest Times
Shire of Carnarvon president Eddie Smith.
Camera IconShire of Carnarvon president Eddie Smith. Credit: Geraldton Guardian

The population of Carnarvon is on the rise after a more than 10-year decline, with more housing needed to support future growth.

According to Australian Bureau of Statistics data, there were about 4400 people in Carnarvon’s urban centre for the 2016 census. This was down from more than 5200 people in 2006 and about 7200 in 2001.

But Shire of Carnarvon president Eddie Smith said latest estimates put the town’s population at more than 5100, attributing the recent growth to booming employment opportunities.

“We are sitting on the cusp of some significant projects going on here,” he said.

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“Things like the Gascoyne Food Bowl Initiative … that has projected 200 new jobs.”

Mr Smith said about 600 jobs would be created across multiple upcoming projects, with the subsequent population growth expected to force existing businesses to expand to support demand.

But he said the housing crisis would make it difficult to accommodate new workers moving to Carnarvon.

The Shire last month applied for a $250,000 Regional Economic Development grant to help fund plans to build workers’ accommodation in Carnarvon.

It is hoped this will help encourage others to enter the local property building industry, Mr Smith said.

“We desperately need housing ... we may refurbish a couple of places and maybe build a few new ones.

“I think if we do that, it will kick-start the industry.”

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