August 14, 2018 1:37pm

Development changes in suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne as seen in images provided by Nearap – 3. Rouse Hill, May 2018.jpg Picture: Nearmap

Charis Chang 

FASCINATING aerial photos have documented how Australia’s two biggest cities have changed to accommodate population growth.

Sydney and Melbourne have rapidly expanded in recent years to cater to thousands of new residents as Australia’s population tops more than 25 million.

In 2016-17, Melbourne grew by 125,400 people and Sydney grew by 101,600 people.

The growth dwarfs that experienced in other states, with the South Australian Premier Steven Marshall calling for new arrivals to be directed to other cities in Australia.

South Australia is crying out for more people. In comparison to the other two states, Adelaide grew by just 9600 and regional South Australia by 846 people in 2016-17.

Figures released by the Department of Home Affairs showed 87 per cent of the 111,000 skilled migrants who arrived in Australia in the past financial year had permanently settled in Sydney or Melbourne.

Overseas arrivals are contributing the most to Australia’s population growth, making up 62 per cent of the increase.

Images from Nearmap have shown exactly how the growth is impacting the fastest growing suburbs of 2016-17 in greater Sydney and Melbourne.



  1. Cobbitty — Leppington

A village located near the town of Camden, southwest of Sydney, this area was mostly farmland and home to an agricultural campus for the University of Sydney.

It grew by 21 per cent between 2016 and 2017, making it the fastest growing area in NSW. During the year it added 4054 people for an estimated population of 22,559 people.


  1. Riverstone — Marsden Park

Despite being one of the oldest towns in Australia, Riverstone, located 48km north-west of Sydney CBD hasn’t seen much growth until now.

In recent years large areas of farmland have been opened up for residential development, drawing 3775 people to the area in 2016-17 and boosting the population by 21 percent. It now has a population of 21,668 people.


  1. Arncliffe — Bardwell Valley

Situated close to Sydney Airport, Arncliffe has a convenient location just 11km south of the Sydney CBD.

It was originally settled by British, Irish, Chinese and Germans but has seen waves of residents from Greece, Italy, Greece, Lebanon.

Its population grew 8 percent in 2016-17, with 1962 new residents moving in, for a total population of 24,873 people.


  1. Homebush Bay — Silverwater

After undergoing rehabilitation to remove industrial waste dumped in the area by companies like Union Carbide, Homebush Bay was revitalized with the construction of Bicentennial Park and Sydney Olympic Park.

It’s now home to 21,158 people, with 1564 people moving into the area in 2016-17 for a growth rate of 8 percent.


  1. Waterloo — Beaconsfield

This inner-city suburb is located just 4km from the Sydney CBD and has attracted residents through its high-rises and the revitalization of its warehouses into restaurants and cafes.

In 2016-17 its population grew by 7 percent, with 2606 moving into the suburb, bringing its population to 37,929.


  1. Rouse Hill — Beaumont Hills

Located 42km north-west of Sydney CBD, in the City of Blacktown and The Hills Shire, Rouse Hill has seen 7 percent population growth between 2016-17.

An estimated 1675 people moved to the area for a total population of 24,977 people.



  1. Mickleham — Yuroke

This area about 30km north of Melbourne’s CBD was originally located beyond the urban growth boundary set in 2002 but planners changed their minds and later identified it as one of the areas where land would be freed up for 90,000 new homes.

Mickleham is located within the Hume Corridor, which is expected to accommodate major population growth and more than 40,000 new dwellings.

Hume Council has identified Mickleham as a residential and employment area that would include a new town centre and facilities. In particular multi-storey apartments and townhouses were being planned to cater to small households.

In 2016-17 its estimated resident population grew by 1253 to 4807 people, a 35 percent increase.


  1. Rockbank — Mount Cottrell

A rural location located about 30km west of Melbourne CBD, this area’s estimated population jumped by 28 percent to 4080 people in 2016-17.


  1. Cranbourne East

This area has been one of the heavy hitters when it comes to population growth in Melbourne.

In one year alone it added 7338 people, a growth rate of 27 percent and there are now an estimated 34,164 people in the area.

Once an area of paddocks and large estates, its population has skyrocketed since 2012 when there were less than 10,000 people living there.


  1. Wollert

Named after an Aboriginal word meaning “where possums abound”, this suburb is now being taken over by another type of mammal. More than 2000 people moved into Wollert in 2016-17, bumping up its population to 11,657 people, a jump of 20 percent.

The northern suburb of Melbourne is located about 26km away from the CBD and used to be a sheep raising and dairying community. In recent years it became known for its quarrying and brickmaking facilities, before becoming a population growth area.


  1. Docklands

Dominated by office buildings, Docklands Stadium and the Melbourne Star Observation wheel, this inner west suburb of Melbourne initially struggled with transport issues, lack of infrastructure and green space.

Stories about many of its apartments lying vacant also tarnished its reputation but Docklands now appears to have shaken off its critics. Its population grew by 14 percent in 2016-17, adding 1757 people for a total population of 13,701.


  1. Mernda

Located about 15 minutes drive to RMIT University Bundoora Campus and about 30 minutes from La Trobe University, Mernda is also only about 27km north-east of Melbourne’s CBD.

Its population grew by 14 percent, with the suburb adding 1757 people in 2016-17 for a total population of 13,701. | @charischang2