Long Term Growth
Population Growth Trends
• Current population of the Dunsborough area is roughly 8,000
• Uncertainty over current growth rates: Based on previous census the growth rate is 7%. This means by 2030 roughly 15,000 or in 15 years 22,000 and 30,000 in 20 years. Based on more recent interim figures and with a somewhat different area the WAPC sees a lower rate of around 3% which means 12,500 in 2030 and 14,400 in 15 years. We will have a much better idea after next year’s census
• The figures don’t include the impact of COVID: lower immigration to Australia but greater demand for property in Dunsborough
Dunsborough Now: red-zoned industrial, green zoned for new playing fields
Area under study (PIA) by WAPC for possible expansion
The state planning authority (WAPC) is currently looking at this land as space for further development. This is 1,100 acres or 450 hectares. This compares to the current Dunsborough Lakes development of 230 hectares. Based on current density this will mean roughly 7,500 people, almost doubling the current Dunsborough population. Before this comes on stream (if it comes on stream) there are roughly 1,100 lots approved for development or under development. This will accomodate roughly 2,750 people. Many of these lots have already been sold.
Building in a bushfire prone region
As the map below shows, most of the land under investigation is classified as being bushfire prone. Is it wise to locate 7,000 people in probably dense housing in such an area? If Dunsborough is forced to evacuate, could the roads handle 20,000 people? Even if all the surroundiung vegetation is cleared the area is still under serious fire threat. Being bounded by national park and bush on the south and west sides, a major fire would most likely create a fire ember attack on the town. What chance would the fire brigade have in protecting the additional 3,000 houses?
The environmental impact
What is the environmental impact on doubling or tripling Dunsborough’s population? We probably don’t know but the outlook isn’t great. The WAPC has designated most of the area under study as “Threatened and priority ecological community” (the red hatched area right).
We do know this area frequently floods. We also know that some of this area cannot be built on due to being low lying, near the coast, so we have seen the investigation area expand south and starting to climb the ridge to ensure there is enough buildable land.