True population to be revealed

THE full results of an explosive report that shows Robinvale's population is more than double the official Census figure will be made public at a meeting Tuesday night.

As reported in Sunraysia Daily and The Guardian, the council-commissioned report by Melbourne-based research company Geografia found there was between 7205 and 7725 people living in the town, according to a blog posted by managing director Kevin Johnson.

There was between 7205 and 7725 people living in Robinvale according to a new report into the town's true population. Picture: PETER BANNAN

There was between 7205 and 7725 people living in Robinvale according to a new report into the town's true population. Picture: PETER BANNAN

Swan Hill Rural City Council on Monday stated on social media that the study also found Robinvale club and bar operators suggested there were two non-permanent residents for every permanent resident.

"In the end, the analysis gave us a 'hidden' population figure of between 3846-4366 (with a mean of 4101)," Mr Johnson wrote.

"We are quite confident that Robinvale's actual year-round service population is something like 2.2-2.9 times the official estimated resident population."

Geografia used daily Eftpos and other transaction data, in conjunction with residential water consumption data provided by Lower Murray Water, to arrive at the population totals over the space of almost 12 months.

Swan Hill Council chief executive John McLinden said the meeting was an opportunity to share the report in its entirety with the community and potentially use its findings to lobby for funding from all tiers of government.

"Kevin Johnson from Geografia, who is basically the author of the report, will be presenting the report to council at a briefing earlier in the day and then to the community," Mr McLinden said.

"He will be talking about the methodology of the report, the data steps that are available and their reliability -- or in some cases, their lack of reliability."

Mr McLinden predicted the council would "undertake a fair advocacy campaign" in the wake of the report to "shine a spotlight" on Robinvale to acquire additional services.

"We're certainly going to share this data with all of the other government agencies in Robinvale -- and the first one that comes to mind is Robinvale District Health Services," he said.

"(RDHS) clearly get funded based on the population that they're serving and they know only too well that they're serving a population far bigger than that which the ABS tells."

Mr McLinden said in addition to the population report, consultants from Holmes Dyar would present their findings on the Robinvale housing strategy. 

The company had been "working with industry, services providers and government agencies on a strategy that will offer short and long-term plans to improve housing availability".

"Holmes Dyar will be making some recommendations for trying to boost the housing supply in the town," he said.

"I am confident that there'll be jobs for everyone in this ... solving the housing issues in Robinvale, and across the municipality, isn't one person's issue.

"It's going to take a considered effort and goodwill from many parties, including the State Government and maybe the Commonwealth. Certainly local government and the private sector."

The community meeting will be held at 6pm Tuesday at the Robinvale Community Centre.

Full report in Friday's edition of The Guardian