Nurturing our unique place and people
Delivering activities and services which build a resilient community, sustain our built and natural environment and promote a vibrant economy
A Profile Of Adelaide Hills Council
The Adelaide Hills Council area is located to the east of metropolitan Adelaide. It encompasses an area of 795 square kilometres and extends from Mount Bold Reservoir in the south, Para Reservoir in the north and from the Hills Face escarpment in the west to the eastern boundary of the Onkaparinga watershed.
The physical character of the area reflects the geological history and includes:
The Council district is substantially within the traditional lands of the Peramangk Aboriginal people. The traditional land of the Kaurna people is also represented within the district at the foothills suburbs of Teringie and Rostrevor and down onto the Adelaide Plains.
The district holds special significance as a major environmental and recreational asset. The majority of Adelaide Hills Council lies within the Mt Lofty Ranges Watershed which supplies around 60% of metropolitan Adelaide's water supply. The area has a wide range of land uses including agriculture, residential, retail, industrial, conservation and tourism.
Residential development varies from the more urban areas of the foothills and around Stirling to the rural townships of Gumeracha, Mt Torrens, Mylor and Cudlee Creek. There are over 50 towns and localities within the Council area.
European settlement in the Adelaide Hills began soon after the establishment of colonial government in 1836. It was one of the earliest settled areas in South Australia due to its close proximity to metropolitan Adelaide, high annual rainfall and fertile valleys.
In recent years, parts of the district have become increasingly urbanised due to better access to Adelaide City via the South Eastern Freeway and also people's desire to enjoy the quality of life offered by a country location in close proximity to the city, giving impetus to development centred around the towns of Stirling, Bridgewater, Aldgate, Balhannah and Woodside. Improved transportation routes have also influenced population growth in the towns in the north of the area, such as Birdwood, Gumeracha and to a lesser extent Kersbrook.
Local industries include apple, pear and cherry growing, vineyards, mixed farming, quarries, nurseries, market gardening, grazing, forestry, horses and cattle.
Major tourist attractions in the Adelaide Hills Council district include - Cleland Wildlife Park, Mt Lofty Summit, Birdwood National Motor Museum, Gumeracha Toy Factory, Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary, Melba's Chocolate Factory, Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens and the Gorge Wildlife Park.
The AHC population growth rate has been steadily declining since 1991. The estimated growth rate for the 1995 to 2000 period was 0.2%, half the State's average of 0.4% however, there was a surge in 2000 and 2001 in the order of 0.5% per year. The population is currently estimated at 39,028 as at June 2005. It is expected that the population will grow to 40,403 by 2016.
For people 60 years and older, the percentage is considerably lower than the average for the State as a whole, but is growing in percentage terms. Just over 11% of the population is over 65.The ageing of the population will have impacts on service provision, which is being addressed as part of our Community Plan. Improvements in aged services and infrastructure like footpaths will be required to improve access to facilities to older persons.
The AHC area has a relatively young and family-orientated population in comparison to the State as a whole. Young people aged between 10 and 24 years make up 20% of our population. Our youth population is expected to reduce by around 12% over the next 10 years, numbering around 7,400 people. For young adults (in the 20 to 29 year old age groups), there is a lower percentage than for the State as a whole.
Family composition is changing in the area. The traditional nuclear family makes up around 34% of households, but nearly the same number were couple only households. This reflects the ageing population and the delay many couples choose to have before starting a family. Lone person households make up 18% of all households, again due to ageing of the population, family breakdown, later age of marriage or people living singly by choice. The average size of households has been steadily decreasing to the 2001 level of 2.71 people per household.
Our area has a substantially higher percentage of tertiary educated residents than the State average and also the percentage of employed people is higher than the State average. About 68% of employed people work outside the area, with 31% employed locally.