FOR just the second time in more than a decade Alpine Shire has seen a “blip” of an increase in its population.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics data released last week shows that at the end of the last financial year there were 12,010 people in the shire, up by 49 or 0.4 per cent on the same time in 2015.
But the valley’s headcount remains 250 people less than the population back in 2006.
The near static growth is in stark contrast to Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne.
The state led the nation with the greatest growth (123,100 people), more than 107,000 of those settling in the capital city.
Closer to home the figures revealed Wangaratta had increased by more than 1000 people since 2006 and Albury Wodonga upwards of 10,000.
Tim McCurdy (MLA, Ovens Valley) said getting people out of Melbourne and into regional and rural Victoria was a priority for the opposition ahead of next year’s state election.
“Nearly all of the growth in our population is going into Melbourne,” he said.