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Ashburton (S): Characteristics of the area and usual residents
Ashburton (S) was chosen for discussion because it had the largest population of the top five high turnover SLAs in Western Australia. Ashburton (S) had a population turnover of 115.0%, which was the third largest population turnover of all SLAs in Western Australia.
Ashburton (S) is located in the north-west of Western Australia and covers an area nearly half the size of Victoria (approximately 105,647 square kilometres), most of which is divided into pastoral properties. Ashburton (S) contains four towns in which the majority of the population reside: Onslow, Pannawonica, Paraburdoo and Tom Price. At the 2006 Census this region had a high proportion of males (56.5%) and the median age of all residents was 31 years. The comparable figures for Australia were 49.4% and 37 years respectively.
According to the Shire of Ashburton website, Ashburton (S) supports a variety of industries such as mining, cattle, fishing and tourism (http://www.ashburton.wa.gov.au/). Estimates obtained from Agricultural Commodities: Small Area Data, Australia, 2005-06 (cat. no. 7125.0) indicated that the agricultural land holding of this SLA was 5,878,818 hectares with 24 establishments. However, only 2.3% of employed residents or 73 people, worked in the Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry. At the 2006 Census more than 50% of employed residents aged 15 years and over (1,592 people) living in Ashburton (S) were recorded as employed in the industry division of Mining (using the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006). This compares with 1.2% of employed residents in Australia working in this industry. The next two highest employing industries in Ashburton (S) were Education and training with 6.3% and Retail trade with 6.0%.
Other key characteristics of the area and its residents were:
People who arrived in, departed or did not move from Ashburton (S)
Following is a discussion of the characteristics of three populations relating to Ashburton (S): arrivals to the SLA within the five years to the 2006 Census; departures from the SLA within the same time period; and those who did not move SLA.
At the 2006 Census 59.0% of residents living in Ashburton (S) (excluding people aged 0-4 years and those who did not state where they lived five years ago) had arrived in the SLA within the last five years. Most (73.1%) of these arrivals were from elsewhere in Western Australia. Just over 18% of arrivals were from interstate and 8.5% were from overseas. Of those departing Ashburton (S), most (74.7%) departed to elsewhere within Western Australia and 25.3% went interstate (this analysis excludes departures overseas, which are unable to be counted using Census data).
The most common age group for arrivals was 30-44 years (39.2% of arrivals), followed by those aged 15-29 years (24.3% of arrivals) and 5-14 years (20.0% of arrivals), as seen in Graph 6.1. The highest proportion of departures were aged 30-44 years, making up 35.5% of departures (see Graph 6.2). A high proportion of departures were also aged 5-14 years (25.5%). Children in this group may have moved with their parents or guardians who are most likely to be in the 30-44 year age group.
A high proportion of people who had not moved SLA were Indigenous (18.3%), compared with 5.4% of arrivals and 6.7% of departures. Although the proportions of Indigenous people for arrivals and departures were small in comparison to people who had not moved SLA, they were high compared with the proportion for Australia (2.4% Indigenous). More than 10% of the population of Ashburton (S) was Indigenous (10.7%).
The Mining industry division (using the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006) recorded the highest proportion of employed arrivals (50.7%), residents who had not moved SLA (51.8%) and departures (30.8%).
Metal ore mining was the ANZSIC subdivision that recorded the highest proportion of employed arrivals, employed people who had not moved SLA and employed departures (40.4%, 43.7% and 18.5% respectively).
Given the dominance of the Mining industry in employment data for the Ashburton (S) SLA, these results imply that many departures from Ashburton (S) leave the Mining industry when they leave the area.
The major group occupation categories (using the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO), 2006) that recorded the largest proportion of employed residents were Machinery operators and drivers and Technicians and trades workers (refer Table 6.2). These were also the top occupations for people who had not moved SLA (27.6% and 24.9% respectively). For arrivals and departures, the occupation with the highest proportion of employed people was Technicians and trades workers (24.4% and 23.0% respectively). However, the occupation that accounted for the greatest proportion of overseas arrivals was Professionals (31.6%).
People who had not moved SLA were much less likely to have attained a Bachelor degree or higher than arrivals and departures. However, all groups had low proportions of attainment. Of people aged 15 years and over, more than 16% of arrivals, 13.3% of departures and 4.3% of people who had not moved had a Bachelor degree or higher. All these proportions were low compared with all people aged 15 years and over in Australia who had a Bachelor degree or higher (17.9%).
Despite the relatively low proportions of people in Ashburton (S) with university qualifications, people in this SLA tended to earn high incomes. Around half of all arrivals to Ashburton (S) and people who had not moved SLA earned $1,000 or more per week. For people departing the SLA this proportion was 37.3% which, while lower than the proportions recorded for the other two population groups, was still significantly higher than the 19.7% recorded for Australia.
Please note: All data presented in this publication relate to person or dwelling characteristics at the time of the 2006 Census. As arrivals and departures may have moved at any time in the five years to the 2006 Census their characteristics could have been different at the time of their migration. The data presented also only captures a person's place of usual residence at the 2006 Census and five years prior to the Census (where they have answered that question). People could have moved residence numerous times between these time periods. Arrivals estimates exclude people who did not state where they lived five years ago, and those who were under the age of 5 at the time of the 2006 Census. In addition to those exclusions, estimates of departures also exclude overseas departures (as these people were not enumerated in the Census). To be consistent with the conceptual basis of the arrivals and departures estimates, the adjusted Census count used in calculating population turnover also excludes 0-4 year olds and people who did not state where they lived five years ago.
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