POPULATION grew in Wangaratta last year by 265 people to 28,824, second in the region behind Wodonga whose population grew 1.8 per cent to 40,564.
While several cities and shires in the region had better growth according the new Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data, Rural City of Wangaratta mayor Ken Clarke said several projects will pave the way for accelerated growth in years to come.
Wangaratta’s modest rise of 0.9 per cent (pc) was better that Benalla, which actually had a population decrease of two people, Alpine which had a 0.5pc rise of 65 people, and Moira 0.5pc or 159 people.
However, in terms of percentage increases Wodonga’s jump of 720 people on 2016 figures was double Wangaratta’s, with other places also better including Mansfield 1.4pc or 120 people, Indigo +1.2pc or 185 people, and Strathbogie 1.2pc or 136 people.
Population growth in the Ovens Valley electorate was at 0.8pc or 480 people to 57,918 people.
Cr Clarke said rezoning of North West and South Wangaratta, the expansion of existing and attraction of new industry, along with the continued showcasing of the rural city would all work in favour of a considerable population growth in the future.