Armidale Regional CouncilEconomic profile
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Armidale Regional Council

About the area

Name origin

Armidale Regional Council is named after Armadale on the Isle of Skye, the Scottish ancestral home of George James MacDonald (Commissioner of Crown Lands).

Location and boundaries

The Armidale Regional Council area is located in the New England Region of New South Wales, about 500 kilometres north of the Sydney CBD, and 500 kilometres south of the Brisbane CBD. The Armidale Regional Council area is bounded by Inverell Shire and the Glen Innes Severn Council area in the north, the Clarence Valley Council area, Bellingen Shire, Nambucca Shire and Kempsey Shire in the east, the Walcha Council area in the south, and Uralla Shire and Gwydir Shire in the west.

Included areas

The Armidale Regional Council area encompasses the localities of Aberfoyle, Armidale, Backwater, Baldersleigh, Bald Blair, Bassendean, Ben Lomond (part), Black Mountain, Boorolong (part), Briarbrook (part), Brockley, Brushy Creek, Bundarra (part), Carrai, Castle Doyle, Dangarsleigh (part), Donald Creek, Dumaresq (part), Duval, Ebor, Enmore, Falconer, Georges Creek, Green Hills, Guyra, Hernani (part), Hillgrove, Howell, Jeogla, Kellys Plains (part), Kookabookra (part), Llangothlin, Lower Creek, Lyndhurst, Metz, New Valley, Oban, Puddledock, South Guyra, Stanborough, Tenterden, Thalgarrah, The Basin, The Gulf (part), Tilbuster, Tingha (part), Tubbamurra, Wandsworth (part), Wards Mistake, Wollomombi and Wongwibinda.

Land use

The Armidale Regional Council area is predominantly rural, with a township at Armidale, small townships at Guyra and Tingha, and villages at Ben Lomond, Black Mountain, Ebor, Hillgrove and Wollomombi. The Council area encompasses a total land area of about 8,600 square kilometres, of which a significant proportion is National Park, State Forest and nature reserves. Rural land is used largely for sheep and cattle grazing, with some fruit growing, viticulture and tourism.

Transport

The Armidale Regional Council area is served by the New England Highway, Waterfall Way, the north western railway line and Armidale Regional Airport.

Settlement history

European settlement of the area dates from the 1830s, with the township of Armidale established in the late 1840s. Land was used mainly for agriculture, particularly grazing and crop growing. Population was minimal until the gold rushes of the 1850s. Growth took place during the 1880s and 1890s, aided by the improved access brought about by the opening of the railway line, and mining around Guyra, Hillgrove and Tingha. The population declined during the early 1900s, largely due to the downturn in mining. Significant development occurred in the post-war years, particularly around Armidale. The population of the Council area declined slightly during the late 1970s, falling from about 28,000 in 1976 to about 27,000 in 1981. The population increased gradually during the 1980s, rising to about 30,000 in 1991. The population then declined slightly during the 1990s, falling to about 28,000 in 2001. The population was relatively stable between 2001 and 2006, and then increased slightly to about 29,000 in 2011.

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of the Armidale area were the Anaiwan Aboriginal people.

Regional labour force

The Armidale Regional Council labour force region is defined by an area in which a significant percentage of workers travelled into the Armidale Regional Council to work at the 2011 Census. Details of this calculation and a list of areas included can be found in the data notes.

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