Census Data Released – What Does Point Cook’s Data Mean For The Future Of Our Suburb?

The 2011 Census data are starting to be released. I have taken a look at the QuickStats for Point Cook and have provided an overview of that data below.

In August 2011 there were 32,413 people living in Point Cook,  approximately a 220% increase from the data five years earlier, supporting all previous reports that we live in one of the fastest growing suburbs in Australia. This growth rate indicates that this data that has just been released already underestimates how many people are living in our suburb now.  However, it is great to finally have some more recent and accurate figures at our hands rather than working off assumptions and predictions based on five year old data.

86.9% of dwellings in Point Cook house families, with 9,081 families living in Point Cook. 69.7% of those families have children, with an average of 1.8 children per family.

The average number of people per household is 3.1. This is significantly higher than the state average of 2.6 people per household and this variance can make a significant difference when projecting population in an area based on number of households.

For example, the population estimates given when Point Cook West Precinct Structure Plan was first drafted calculated population in the area at 2.8 people per household for conventional housing and 2.5 for medium density housing. On this basis the future population of this area was estimated at 4,746 residents. However, census data supports one of the arguments PCAG used against these projected figures. Point Cook attracts larger average number of people per household than the Victorian State average and therefore future planning should reflect this in their projections, as this has a significant knock on in regards to provision for other vital infrastructure, such as schools, health care and community leisure and wellbeing options.

Interestingly 4,097 people, that’s 12.6% of Point Cook’s population, are aged between 0-4 years, with 28.4% of the suburb aged 0-14 years. There are 5,111 (15.8%) 5-14 year olds (approximate P-9 school age) and 1,588 (4.9%) 15-19 year olds (approximate 10-12 school age). What does that mean for our already bursting schools? If you look at the number of people that are currently in the 15-19 year age bracket and then look at the age bracket below and our overall growth rate as a suburb, you don’t need to have passed maths with a Distinction to see that we are going to have twice as many people in years 10-12 in four years time than what we have now. Where are they going to go to secondary school? I haven’t seen any plans to build another Year 10-12 College or to double the size of Point Cook Senior College. Already we have many families sending their children as far as Bacchus Marsh, or in some instances much further to ensure quality education for our children. Think of all those extra cars and school buses on our roads, not to mention our children having to commute for up to an hour each way when they could otherwise be using that time to participate in sports or do their homework. It won’t be until much later in life that we will see what impact this will make and by then it will be too late.

The other significant age group in Point Cook is 25-44 years (14,277), making up a combined total of 44% of our population. These consist of the parents of these children and contribute to a large proportion of our commuting workforce. Employment details are yet to be released, but unfortunately statistics such as where people work have not been captured in this study. It would be interesting to see how many people work locally and how many people exactly we have battling to get out of Point Cook each morning via one of our three exits into town. More interesting would be the number of people that would prefer to work locally should options become available in areas such as the proposed, but yet confirmed Werribee Employment Precinct.

It will come as no surprise to Point Cook residents that we are a suburb reliant on our motor vehicles. In fact only 180 dwellings (1.8%) are without a motor vehicle. This is significantly down on the State average of 8.4%. Could our poor public transport have something to do with this perhaps? The average number of motor vehicles per dwelling is 1.9, with 53.8% having 2 motor vehicles, significantly greater than the State average of 37%.

The median household income is $1,986 per week, up from a State median of $1,216. However, with 73.7% of us being home owners rather than renters, it looks like this slight income advantage is going straight into the mortgage repayments. Our median monthly mortgage repayments are $2,200 compared to the State median of $1,700.

Point Cook is a multi-cultural suburb. Whilst Australia tops the country of birth (54.4%), other top responses in order of population numbers were India (5.7%), China (4.4%), England (3.9%), New Zealand (3.3%) and Philippines (21.1%).

Point Cook’s infrastructure is struggling to cope with the current number of residents in the suburb. Public transport is inadequate, arterial roads are at a standstill during peak times, there is limited local employment and our schools are bursting at the seams. Trying to squeeze more people into the suburb by releasing more land for development and/or approving applications for high-density housing in already populated areas of Point Cook should therefore be put on hold until our infrastructure issues catch up to at least support the requirements of our current population, as agreed by Planning Minister Matthew Guy. If not, then where are these people meant to work, go to school or develop other life skills such as learn to swim? There is no provisions for them to do that in Point Cook and they will struggle to get a bus or be able to drive elsewhere to do any of these things either.

So how does this data compare to what you though and what implications do you think this has for Point Cook as a suburb. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

GAA Presentation To Point Cook Action Group

Click on the link below to see a copy of the presentation given to the Point Cook Action Group on 27 February 2012:

PSP 39.1 – Point Cook West – PCAG – 27 February 2012

Please be reminded that residents are encouraged to Support Councils Objection To The PCW PSP by putting your views in writing to Simon Cotterill, Structural Planning Manager, Growth Areas Authority, Level 29, 35 Collins Street, Melbourne 3000, email: Simon.Cotterill@gaa.vic.gov.au by 7 March 2012.

If you need assistance in where to get starting in writing your letter, please check out A Guide To Writing A Letter In Response To The Proposed Point Cook West Precinct Structure Plan, but please note the extension on the closing date (as above).

Clean Up Australia Day 2012 – Point Cook Locations

Recently, there has been a lot of “noise” from many Point Cook residents and media attention regarding the amount of rubbish that is being dumped on nature strips, vacant blocks of land, building sites and as part of our beautiful waterways and open park lands.  Well, why not group together and do something productive about it?

Clean Up Australia Day is on again Sunday 4 March 2012.  This event provides the perfect opportunity for the community to pull together and re-establish some neighborhood pride in our beloved Point Cook, whilst at the same time meeting some other residents.  It is great to see that already three of our residents have taken it upon themselves to setup Clean Up Australia Day sites within Point Cook.  The sites and the residents that should be commended are as follows:

Persons interested in  supporting this great cause should click on one of the above links and select either “join this site” or “donate now”.  On each of the site pages you will find the details of the start and finish times, meeting points and contact details for the Site Coordinators so you can contact them directly for further details.

It is good to see that some of the sites already have volunteers, but the numbers are quite low at present and they desperately require many more Point Cook residents to volunteer if they are to make a significant improvement on the day.

The Clean Up Australia Day campaign is not restricted to the one day and public spaces, with the following events being organised as part of the campaign:

If you are unable to support any of the above campaigns, why not use this event as a good excuse to give your house or property the once over and make use of the many options available within Wyndham City for the removal of rubbish.

So what are you waiting for?  Head to the Clean Up Australia Day website and register your involvement for one of the Point Cook clean up sites. Come back here once you have registered and let us know where you will be on the day, and please share this information with other Point Cook Residents so that we can get as many people as possible involved in this great community event.

Have You Got A Customer Service Reference Number From Council?

These days, often the first place people go when they have an issue with local council is straight to Facebook to let everyone else know about it.  Whilst this may assist you with the venting process, it will do very little to solve the problem and in some instances may even make things worse as other people get involved and accusations start to get thrown around.

Wyndham City offers the following channels for communication should you have any local matters that must be escalated to council:

  • Wyndham City Website – Click on the “Customer Service Request” red button on the front page of the Wyndham City Council website.  This will take you through to a “Request For Action/Feedback Online Form” where you can provide details of your issue.  Once you have completed the form, you will be issued with a customer service number.
  • Call Wyndham City – (03) 9742 0777.  Ask for a customer service number.
  • Visit Wyndham City – Civic Centre & Functions Centre, 45 Princes Highway, Werribee, Victoria (Mel Ref 206 B7) – Open 8.00am – 5.00pm (Monday to Friday).  Ask for a customer service number.
  • Write to Wyndham City – Wyndham City, PO Box 197, Werribee, Victoria 3030. Ask for a customer service number.
  • Email Wyndham City – mail@wyndham.vic.gov.au. Ask for a customer service number.

You should always ask for a customer service number when logging an issue with Council.  This will enable to progress of your issue to be tracked. [Read more…]

Capturing Point Cook’s Beauty And Beast

Image courtesy of Remember When Photography

PCAG is calling for Point Cook residents to get their cameras out and start snapping Point Cook at its best (and worst) for inclusion on the PCAG website and blog posts.  Point Cook has so much beauty in its natural landscapes, architecture, artwork and community and we would like to feature this.  Ideas include the Point Cook Coastal Park and Homestead, RAAF Museum, Pont Cook Town Centre, local cafes and restaurants, Point Cook Market, festivals, community groups, local parks, architecture, city views, wildlife, etc. [Read more…]