2.5 Demography

The Shire is a cool temperature zone with the temperature averaging 26 o C in summer and 12 o C in winter. The average annual rainfall is 722mm for Colac and 2000mm for Weeaproinah.

Colac Otway Shire has a population of approximately 20,621people. The seasonal variation in population along the coast can be significant.

Figure 6 - Population Distribution throughout Colac Otway Shire

Town Population
Apollo Bay 1092
Marengo 222
Birregurra 486
Beeac 223
Beech Forest/Carlisle River 479
Colac/Elliminyt 11918
Cressy 433
Cororooke 383
Forrest 237
Gellibrand 383
Skenes Creek 426
Wye River/Kennett River 236
Other Regional Areas 4103
Total Population 20621

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics. Census of Population and Housing 2011.

Colac Otway Shire’s population increases considerably during the summer and school holiday periods. For the year ended December 2013 the Shire received 372,000 overnight visitors. Holiday or leisure was the largest purpose for the visits (>85%), followed by friend and family visits and business visits.

Domestic day trip travel to the Shire during the same period was 301,000 visitors. The Great Ocean Road seaside locations (Apollo Bay, Skenes Creek, Wye River / Separation Creek and Kennett River) along with the forests of the Otway National Park are traditionally the main areas of visitation. (Source: Data Insights Visitation Report, Dec 2013)

The resident population in Colac Otway Shire is forecast to grow to 25,120 by 2031 with the lower third of the Shire (Great Ocean Road and Otways) expected to increase by 35% during this time.

The following table and graph show the change in age structure of people in Colac Otway Shire between 2007 and 2011. It also shows that the median age of people in Colac Otway Shire in 2011 was 42 years, children aged 0-14 years made up 18.9% of the population and people aged 65 years and over made up 18.7% of the population a much higher figure than the Australian average of 14%.

Figure 7 - Age Structure for Colac Otway Shire 2011

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics. Census of Population and Housing 2011.

Figure 8 - Change in Age Structure Colac Otway Shire 2011/2017

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics. Census of Population and Housing 2011.

Figure 9 - Languages Spoken by Colac Otway Shire Residents

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics. Census of Population and Housing 2011.

Figure 10 - Languages Spoken in Colac Otway Shire - % Population

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics. Census of Population and Housing 2011

Figure 11 - Population breakdown comparison Colac Otway Shire/Australia

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics. Census of Population and Housing 2011

2.5.1 Special Needs Groups

Community groups such as Senior Citizens, Adult Day Care Services, kindergarten, primary and secondary schools, Mobile Child Care Services, Residential Services including Aged Care, home based special medical needs, Intellectual and physical disability facilities all require special consideration during emergencies. These services are located throughout the Shire.

2.4 Industry

2.6 Vulnerable Persons