The Ravensthorpe Shire says its future is looking up, despite new figures showing it has suffered the second largest drop in population in Australia.
A report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the shire’s population fell 4.2 per cent in the 2008/2009 financial year.
Shire president Ian Goldfinch says the figures do not accurately represent the future of Ravensthorpe.
Mr Goldfinch says there are several projects underway that will attract workers to the area, boosting population in the longer term.
“We’ve got now three mines that look very much as if they will be part of our future and of course you’ve got the old BHP mine which is now owned by first quantum and that’s going to have 660 people there … and then you’ve got galaxy … and they are actually in the throes of digging at the moment,” he said.
The Shire of Coolgardie, which takes in the Goldfields’ towns of Coolgardie and Kambalda, experienced the second highest population decline.
The figures show the shire’s population fell by 3.1 per cent between 2008 and 2009.
Shire president Malcolm Cullen says the population drop reflects the collapse in nickel prices during the economic downturn.
“I think it would have been a result of the low nickel prices around that period of time, which coincided with the closing of the operations in Ravensthorpe at much the same time, so I guess that’s what the contributing factor would have been,” he said.