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Bega Valley Shire CouncilBega Valley Shire Council

Our Place

Welcome to Our Place

The Bega Valley Shire is located at the south-eastern corner of New South Wales, half-way between Australia’s two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne and three hours’ drive from the nation’s capital, Canberra. Our coastal fringe extends from Wallaga Lake in the north to Cape Howe and the Victorian border in the south. At over 6,200 km2, the shire is the largest local government area in coastal NSW and collectively this 225-kilometre section forms the beautiful Sapphire Coast, the heart of Australia’s Coastal Wilderness.

Our community vision explains our collective aspiration that by working together, the Bega Valley Shire community integrates quality of life, enterprising businesses, sustainable development and conservation of the environment.

We are ... Bega Valley

Basic map of the Bega Valley Shire and hte distance to Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne

 

The Yuin people are the traditional custodians of the shire. Ancient stories, ceremonies, special places and sacred objects are embedded in the landscapes, trees, hills and waterways of the shire, and form the basis of traditional lore, custom, spiritual connection and custodial obligations.

The shire’s population of around 35,000 is dispersed, with a third of us living in rural areas and the remaining two thirds spread amongst 12 villages, 4 major towns and adjacent urban settlements. We have grown at a rate faster than predicted, and will grow by a further 3,600 (9%) over the next 15 years. We are older in age than average, but we have high levels of independence, with more of us fully owning our own homes, and one in four of us actively volunteering.

Currently fewer of us have bachelor level education than the state average, but more of us are completing year 12 and attending university than ever before. Around half of us work, predominantly in farming, manufacturing, health and social services, retail and tourism, and a significant proportion of us are retired.

While we enjoy lower rent and mortgage costs than average, our lower than average weekly income means affordability is just as important to us as our city counterparts.

This is ... Bega Valley

Our strengths

  • Food Product Manufacturing
  • Tourism
  • Healthcare and Social Assistance
  • Natural assets and liveability
  • Intellectual and cultural capital
  • Attractive retirement destination
  • Low cost of housing
  • Location

We have a growing economy, with almost $1.6 billion annual Gross Regional Product, over $900 million in exports each year and over 3,100 local businesses. Our main industries are farming, particularly dairy and the associated cheese manufacturing industry in Bega; commercial fishing and aquaculture; health and social services; and tourism along much of the coast. The key industrial precincts are in North Bega, Eden and South Pambula and main retail areas in the town centres of Bega, Eden and Merimbula.

Transport is predominantly by private car with limited bus services. Merimbula Airport provides air transport connectivity to Melbourne and Sydney and the Port of Eden is an important working port able to berth large cruise ships.

We are a regional centre for schools and higher education institutions. There are currently 18 primary and four high schools which include a mixture of private and public. The University of Wollongong operates a campus in Bega. In addition, vocational courses and trade skills are offered by the TAFE Illawarra campus also in Bega.

Our long stretches of coastline are a tourism draw card. Merimbula, Eden, Bermagui and Tathra are major tourist centres and typically experience a threefold boost in their populations during the peak summer period. On average, an estimated 1 million visitors come to the Bega Valley each year, spending around $500 million.

Bega Valley Shire Council manages over $1.1 billion in assets that allow visitors and community alike to live, work and play in this beautiful part of the world.

Statistics ... Bega Valley

POPULATION

 

Bega Valley

NSW

Population 2021 (forecast.id) 34,952  
Estimated population 2036 (forecast.id) 38,138  
Forecast population increase by 2036 9.1%  
Median age 51 38
Persons per hectare 0.06 0.1

FORECAST POPULATION COHORTS %

 

Bega Valley
2021

NSW
2036

Age 0 to 19 20.2 18.8
Age 20 to 34 11.6 10
Age 35 to 59 29.7 27.2
Age 60 plus 38.5 43.3

HOW WE LIVE %

 

Bega Valley
2021

NSW
2036

Couples with dependents 23.3 18.6
One parent families 9.0 8.4
Couples without dependents 38.5 37.9
Live alone 28 32.1
Group household 2.3 1.8
Other households 1.2 1.2

DIVERSITY %

 

Bega Valley
2021

NSW
2036

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 3.1 2.9
Overseas born 11.6 27.6
Language at home other than English 3.0 25.1

HEALTH AND HELPING %

 

Bega Valley
2021

NSW
2036

Volunteering 25.8 18.1
Need assistance with core activities 6.0 5.4

TRANSPORT AND TECHNOLOGY %

 

Bega Valley
2021

NSW
2036

Public transport to work 0.7 16.1
Households with internet connection 73.8 78.2

HOUSING %

 

Bega Valley
2021

NSW
2036

Number of dwellings 17,457  
Average household size 2.2 2.6
Live in separate house 80.2 64.9
Unoccupied dwellings 17.3 9.3
Own home outright 43.1 30.7
Households with a mortgage 25.5 30.4
Households renting 21.5 30.3

INCOME AND EXPENDITURE $

 

Bega Valley
2021

NSW
2036

Median weekly household income 987 1,481
Median weekly mortgage repayments 312 456
Median weekly rent 256 384

EDUCATION %

 

Bega Valley
2021

NSW
2036

Completed university qualification 15.0 23.4
Completed advanced diploma or diploma 8.3 8.9
Completed a trade qualification (certificate) 23.8 18.1
Completed year 12 37.7 52.1
Attending university 1.4 5.0
Attending TAFE 1.4 1.9

Source: profile.id, including population and household forecasts (accessed April 2020) profile.id.com.au/bega-valley

MAJOR EMPLOYING SECTORS

Health Care and Social Assistance 2,000
Retail Trade 1,6111
Accommodation and Food Services 1,557
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 1,506
Construction 1,271

TOP 5 INDUSTRIES (output)

Manufacturing 534.1m
Construction 469.0m
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 349.8m
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services 236.3
Health Care and Social Assistance 213.6m
   
Souce: 2019/20 NIER

WORKFORCE

Population * 34,952
Total Employment ** 14,013
Unemployment Rate *** 6.0%
Participation Rate **** 49.7%
   
Full time work **** Bega Valley 50.0%
**** NSW 49.2%
Part time work **** Bega Valley 42.6%
**** NSW 32.7%
   

Data sources: *forecast id, **2019/20 NIEIR,
***December 2020 quarter Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS),
****ABS Census of Population and Housing 2016 *****profile.id

OTHER ECONOMIC STATS

Gross Regional Product * $1.571B
Value of Exports ** $902.7m
Local Businesses *** 3,155
   
* 30th June 2020 National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (NIEIR)
** 2019/20 NIEIR
*** 2020 Australian Bureau Statistic

AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION

Milk * 65.3%  $62.667m
Livestock * 27.7%  $26.616m
   
Source: 2015/16 Australian Bureau Statistics

TOURISM

Note: Published performance in these periods was heavily impacted by 2019/20 bushfires and COVID-19 restrictions.

Annual contribution to local economy (direct & indirect) * $233.8m
Number of visitors annually * $3,182,051
   

*2018/19 NIER **2019/20 Tourism Research Australia (includes international visitor nights, domestic visitor nights & domestic daytrips)

 


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