RIVERINA REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT BOARD

RIVERINA REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT BOARD

Key Statistics

Area: 2,895.32 sq km

Population: 3,578

Unemployment: 6.2%

Participation Rate: 55.9%

Median Taxable Income: $35,139 p.a.

Lockhart Regional Profile

The main regional centre in the Lockhart Shire is Lockhart which is a regional town situated 515 km south west of Sydney, via the Hume and Sturt Highways.

In 2001 the population of the Lockhart Shire was 3,578, an increase of 0.3% since 1996. During this time there were significant increases in the number of older residents, especially those aged over 70.

There are around 1,594 people in the workforce in the Lockhart Shire, of which 64% work full-time and 26% work part-time. At the time of the last census 6% of residents were unemployed.

Two of the largest employers in the Lockhart Shire are the agriculture (39.3%) and retail (8.7%) industries. The median taxable income for the Lockhart Shire is approximately $676 per week.

Demographics

Age Distribution

Between 1996 and 2001 Lockhart Shire experienced a slight growth in population of 0.3%.

There was a large decline of over 10% in those aged under 15 and a decline of 7.5% in those aged 25-39. These decreases were offset however by increases in the older demographics, especially those aged 70+.

Lockhart Shire has a population distribution close to the state and regional averages, however it has a slightly lower proportion of residents in the under 25 years age groups.

Income

The median taxable income for the Lockhart Shire is approximately $676 per week. This is higher than the average for the Riverina as a whole.

The highest proportion of residents in the Lockhart Shire (14.4%) earn between $200 and $299 per week.

Average weekly income for females is lower than that of males.

Indigenous Profile

Indigenous Persons

Indigenous persons account for 2.6% of the total population in the Lockhart Shire. This is lower than the average for the Riverina region (3.3%) but higher than the average for NSW (2%).

While the total population of Lockhart Shire seems to be ageing, the indigenous population is heavily skewed towards younger age groups especially those aged under 30 years.

Labour Force

Indigenous unemployment is higher in the Lockhart Shire than the averages for either the Riverina or NSW.

The unemployment rate for indigenous females in the Lockhart Shire is 0%, in contrast to the male figure of 35.3%.

The average unemployment rate of indigenous persons in the Lockhart Shire (27.3%) is more than four times the unemployment rate for the total population (6.2%)

Education

Level of Education

The most common form of post-school qualification completed by Lockhart residents is a certificate (13.9%).

Both males and females tend to pursue certificate qualifications, however females are also highly represented in the bachelor degree category.

Lockhart has a higher average level of education than the Riverina but is lower than the average level for the state.

Field of Education

The most common fields of study in the Lockhart Shire are agricultural, engineering and management and commerce.

Agriculture and engineering are the most common fields of study for males. Females tend to move into the management and health fields

These trends are similar to those of the Riverina region and NSW as a whole.

Internet Use

Over 29% of residents in the Lockhart Shire use the Internet, with most use occurring in the home.

The level of use of the Internet for males and females is similar with 29% and 30% usage respectively.

Only 0.5% of people aged over 65 use the Internet with highest use in the prime working age bracket (25-64 years).

Industry

Industry Performance

Industry growth due to local factors was strongest in the transport and storage (30 jobs created between 1996 and 2001) and manufacturing (22 jobs) industries. The region benefits from the economic activity that flows on from the strong manufacturing industry to other industries in the region.

Employment by Occupation

Employment in the Lockhart Shire is concentrated in managers and administrators occupations.

This can be attributed to the high number of farmers and small business owners who are classified as managers.

Males are mostly employed as managers and tradesmen while females tend to be employed in managerial or clerical occupations.

Lockhart has a high proportion of managers and administrators compared to NSW and the Riverina

 

Employment

Labour Force Status

The average rate of unemployment in the Lockhart Shire is 6.2% with a participation rate of 55.9%.

The Lockhart Shire experienced employment growth of 1.4% between 1996 and 2001. This is low compared to the average rate of growth for the Riverina of 4.0%.

Male unemployment is higher in than that of females, especially in the lower age brackets.

Employment Trend

Agriculture has remained the largest employer in the Lockhart Shire since 1991.

The largest increase in employment since 1991 occurred in the transport and storage sector. The largest decrease occurred in the agriculture industry.

Male employment is concentrated in the agriculture industry. A high number of females are also employed in the agriculture sector, the health and community services sector is also a prominent employer.

Building Approvals

The total value of building approvals in the Lockhart Shire in 2002 was $1 million. The average price of building approvals was $205,000.

The value of residential building approvals grew by 68.8% p.a. between 1998 and 2002. This is higher than the average growth of 55% for NSW and the Riverina (43.7%).

The building market in Lockhart appears to be quite volatile and while it reacts to the same overall trends experienced across the Riverina the effect is sometimes amplified, possibly due to the small population.