Research Change Strategy & Policy

Planning for growth with population insights

Parkes Shire Council

Project Highlights

Developed population, housing and dwelling projections to inform decision-making

Creation of a population framework so Council can monitor changes in how the population is changing compared to projections

Explored novel data – such as airport travel – to build understanding of movement patterns

The bottom line

Delivering population projections and framework to support Council's development of their Local Strategic Planning Statement and understanding the impact of a Special Activation Precinct on employment and movement of people.

The Challenge:

Parkes Shire Council is located in the Central West of NSW, five hours drive from Sydney and three hours from Canberra. They needed new population, household and dwelling projections to underpin development of their Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS), accounting for anticipated growth and change brought on by the Parkes Special Activation Precinct (SAP) and the construction of the Inland Rail network.

Image: Parkes Shire Council (Source: Astrolabe Group)

What we did:

We prepared new projections for three growth scenarios that take account of different levels of internal migration as people move to Parkes to take up jobs. We used standard demographic methods to show the impact of age and sex changes over time which all will have implications for how Council plans for the area, its infrastructure and services.

We also explored a range of novel data sets including water and airport arrivals, to see if they could help measure changes in the temporary population, people flying in and out of the region to take advantage of employment opportunities for example, that traditional data sets don’t account for.

We identified all population data sources, release dates and access portals that Parkes Shire Council can monitor to identify the rate of population growth and what it means for ensuring housing supply meets demand to ensure that the projections, scenarios and implications can be used in decision-making.


  • A set of population, household, and dwelling projections for three scenarios to 2041 from a low growth scenario to high growth driven by long-term positive employment generation
  • Considered the implications for each growth scenario on labour force participation and housing demand
  • A population framework showcasing population indicators for monitoring change in the Parkes population
  • These projections informed the Parkes Shire Council Local Strategic Planning Statement with the population framework indicators embedded as an tool for monitoring outcomes

Cover image: Parkes Shire Council website