Bargara man Kerry Short loves his coastal lifestyle.
Bargara man Kerry Short loves his coastal lifestyle. Mike Knott

Bundaberg Vs Bargara

PEOPLE who live on our coastal strip are better educated and less likely to need care than their Bundaberg city counterparts, if statistics are to be believed.

According to Census of Population and Housing results, residents of Bundaberg’s coastal areas including Bargara, Elliott Heads and Burnett Heads are also more likely to be connected to the internet, and less likely to be single-parent families.

Between about 40% and 50% of coastal residents completed high school, while Bundaberg’s land-locked suburbs had a rate of less than 39.7%.

And more than 5% of inland residents were categorised as “people with a need for assistance”, while this figure was between 2% and 3% for seaside areas.

But residents themselves are not convinced there is such a divide between inner-city and coastal dwellers.

Bargara man Kerry Short, a former teacher who holds a Bachelor of Education, said the suburb’s demographics had changed a lot in the 12 years since he had moved there.

“I don’t know whether or not they are better educated, but it’s true there are a lot of

businesspeople who have moved here,” he said.

“They often work in town and live in Bargara for the lifestyle.”

Mr Short is heavily involved with the Bundaberg surf club, rowing and running – activities he said were all part of a healthy beachside lifestyle.

“It’s easy to live an active lifestyle here. From daylight, there are people walking and riding along the beach every day,” he said.

Bundaberg man Jeff Phillips, a retired army dentist, agreed Bargara was probably home to more fitness fanatics.

“I don’t exercise myself, but I have seen and heard people around Bargara are very active, but I don’t think there is much of a difference in education,” he said.

Bundaberg Regional Councillor Danny Rowleson said he did not think the statistics were an accurate depiction of the demographics.

“The balance between Bundaberg and Bargara would be very similar,” Cr Rowleson said.

He said skewed statistics made it difficult to ensure each community got what it needed in terms of infrastructure and funding.

“We’ve been busting our guts to get respite care in Bargara – despite what these figures say, there is a vital need for it,” he said.

“Bureaucrats use statistics to determine what each area needs, but they’ve got it wrong.”

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