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Where the bloody hell are we?

03 Jul 2012

Where the bloody hell are we? Image

By Shane Scanlan

Census collectors found local residents in less than two thirds of Docklands’ apartments when they called last August, resulting in an estimated population of only 5090 people.

Census analysts counted Docklanders in only 2262 dwellings – less than 60 per cent of the suburb’s residences.

The low population estimate is in contrast to figures from Places Victoria and City of Melbourne, which have for many years put the population in excess of 6000.

Census collectors marked 619 Docklands apartments as “unoccupied” and found interstate and international visitors in a further 685 apartments.

And while collectors apparently found 10 “caravans, cabins or houseboats”, they failed to find at least 261 Docklands apartments – the difference between their estimate of 3564 “households” and the 3825 residential properties on the City of Melbourne’s rates register as at July 1, 2011.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ methodology has resulted in it claiming that more than 20 per of Docklands residences are unoccupied, a figure hotly disputed by local real estate agents.

Last month three new residential buildings opened in Docklands – Convesso, Yarra’s Edge, Low Rise Stage 3 and Serrata. In the coming months two new residential buildings will also open – Lacrosse and Yarra’s Edge Low Rise Stage 4. By the end of the year Docklands will have welcomed an estimated 1200 new residents to the area.

Proponents of a primary school for Docklands will be disappointed that more children were not identified in the census, with only 493 under-19-year-olds being recorded. Of more encouragement was that 177 of them were under four.

The median age of the suburb is 31, with the largest population grouping being 25-to-29-year-olds (19 per cent of the population, which is nearly three times the national average).

By contrast, elderly Docklanders are an elite group with only 100 residents being over 70-years-old. They make up only 2 per cent of the population, in contrast with a national percentage of nearly 10 per cent.

Docklanders are also far less likely to be married, with only 38.1 per cent being married (against a national percentage of 48.7) and nearly half of us never having tied the knot (against a national figure of 34.3 per cent).  

And Docklands will have to throw off its moniker of “Divorcelands”, having recorded less than the national average for divorcees. It does, however, have more men (52.6 per cent) than women (47.4 per cent) – which also bucks the national trend.

There are far fewer families in Docklands than in “average Australia”. While 71.5 per cent of Australian dwellings contain family groups, in Docklands the figure is only 53.4 per cent.  In Docklands “group households” inhabit 11 per cent of dwellings – against a national trend of only 4.1 per cent.  And 35.7 per cent of Docklanders live alone – compared with a national average of 24.3 per cent.

Docklands household are nearly twice as likely to bring home more than $3000 per week than the national average (19.7 per cent compared with 11.2 per cent).

Docklanders are more educated than the average Australian, with 31.7 per cent indicating that they were tertiary-educated (against a 14.3 per cent national figure).  But nearly half of people surveyed in Docklands did not state their educational level.

Ethnically, only 37 per cent of Docklanders were born in Australia (compared with the national average of almost 70 per cent) but Aussies are still the largest group.  The next largest group are Chinese-born (8.7 per cent), Indian-born (6.5 per cent), England (3.9 per cent), New Zealand (3.4 per cent) and Malaysia (3.1 per cent).

While 27.9 per cent of Docklanders said they had no religion, nearly 18 per cent of us are Catholic, 8.4 per cent Anglican, 5.9 per cent Buddhist and 5.7 per cent are Hindus.

Docklanders are less likely to do housework, care for children or do any voluntary work compared with their fellow Australians.

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