Alfredton among state's fastest growing areas

ALFREDTON is one of the fastest growing areas in regional Victoria, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data. 

Yesterday the ABS released the Regional Population Growth Australia 2012-13 report, which revealed a 5.4 per cent increase in Alfredton’s population between 2012 and 2013. 

The data also revealed Ballarat had experienced one of the largest growths for a Victorian regional city, with the population climbing by 2100 people between 2012 and 2013. 

With thousands flocking to Alfredton, and neighbouring suburb Lucas, Ballarat City Council mayor Joshua Morris said the council had made efforts to accommodate future growth. 

“It has been many years in the process. The last council before ours was instrumental to ensure a growth front,” Cr Morris said. 

“(Western Ballarat) is a place where all of the . . . infrastructure was planned for.”

Cr Morris said the Lucas Town Centre development and the connecting Western Link Road were factored into the future population growth in western Ballarat. 

“The (Western) Link Road is being constructed for the capacity of the traffic movement in the west,” Cr Morris said. 

Cr Morris’s comments come as delays continue on the anticipated Western Link Road development. 

When completed, the Ballarat Western Link Road will link the Western Freeway to the Midland Highway.

“There is still some communication with stakeholders with regards to how the link road is going to work,” Cr Morris said. 

“The linking (roundabout) with the Western Highway into the Ballarat West Employment Zone  will be completed in an appropriate time frame to  ... ensure we have the abilities for the freight access to the employment zone.”

The ABS data revealed there were 9351 people living in Alfredton in 2013, compared with 8876 in 2012. 

Delacombe also saw a 3.5 per cent population increase, with 5981 in 2012 and 6191 in 2013. 

Ballarat was one of the largest growth regional cities, behind Geelong, but ahead of Bendigo and Latrobe-Gippsland.