THE Census 2011 data proved a mixed bag for the Wimmera.

Positively, three of our municipalities experienced growth – Horsham Rural City, West Wimmera Shire and Ararat Rural City.

Unfortunately, Northern Grampians Shire, Yarriambiack Shire and Hindmarsh Shire all found themselves lacking the numbers they had 10 years ago.

Despite the shires’ populations drop, every municipality experienced an increase in the number of overseas-born people.

The growing numbers of overseas-born people in the Wimmera helps the region develop as a multicultural base.

This can only be a good thing for the Wimmera.

But it is concerning that our shires are losing people.

While the Wimmera’s slogan ‘Everything you need’ might not be entirely accurate, there is a lot on offer in our part of the country.

Northern Grampians, Yarriambiack and Hindmarsh all have features that would appeal not only to residents but to visitors too.

These visitors could one day decide to call the Wimmera home.

We need to promote our region better, to both the folk in the city and interstate.

These shires deserve to grow as a community.

Well done to Horsham, West Wimmera and Ararat on increasing numbers.

Let’s hope in the next census, we find that our entire region has grown.

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