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Wollongong City Council

Wollongong is a wellbeing winner

Friday 11 June 2021

When it comes to rating how Wollongong’s residents feel about their lives, our city ranks above the national wellbeing average.

The results are in on the Wollongong Local Government Area Wellbeing Survey 2021, and our community has ranked their wellbeing as 79/100, which is above the national average of 76.5.

This is slightly above results achieved with previous surveys in 2018 and 2014 which saw the Wollongong index sitting at 78 and 78.8, above the national average of 75.5 and 75 respectively.

“The Personal Wellbeing Index has been measured by Deakin University, in partnership with Australian Unity, since 2000 and tracks how satisfied people are with their lives across the country,’’ Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said.

“It’s heartening to see on average our residents continue to be satisfied with their standard of living, what they’re achieving in life and that they feel a part of the community.’’

While Council undertakes the survey, it takes a city-wide focus and gathers data beyond our services and operations.

“This survey is really helpful as it provides a broader look at Wollongong and provides an insight into how the community feels about the city as a whole,’’ Cr Bradbery said.

“The data collected through the survey can be used to guide our future planning including the upcoming review of the Community Strategic Plan and the goals within it. However, it’s also essential as the information guides Council on matters that are out of our day-to-day remit but where we can take on an advocacy role.’’

The survey asked residents to what extend they agree with a number of statements related to living in Wollongong. Through the survey 9 out of 10 residents agreed;

  • Wollongong is a good place to live
  • Their neighbourhood is a good place to live
  • They would help if a neighbour calls
  • It’s a good thing for society to be made up of people from different cultures and communities
  • They feel safe at home by themselves during both day and night, and walking alone in their local area during the day.

And while the majority of residents felt very positive about their community, responses also highlighted the need for Council to continue to plan for how growth and development is managed across the city.

“One of the questions asked in the phone survey was about residents’ vision for the future and it was clear from the results that there are concerns about the amount of high density development that is occurring across the city,’’ Cr Bradbery said.

“Housing policy is a challenging area for councils because we need to provide an appropriate mix of housing to cater for demand and to support housing affordability but this means that some areas will experience change. Our response needs to take a balanced approach to development that is supported by the provision of infrastructure such as schools, open spaces and sports and leisure clubs, and improvements to traffic management and parking.

“This commentary is really helpful as it shows Council the work we’re doing to improve planning outcomes to the city centre, as well as the work we’re doing on various town and village plans, is in line with our community’s expectations.

“It also empowers Council to continue to lobby other NSW State Government agencies, such as Transport for NSW, for improvements to major transport links, and the Department of Education for new school facilities in fast-growing areas like West Dapto.’’

Statistics breakdown

500 Participants: 51 per cent female, 49 per cent male

Ages: 18-34 years -30 per cent, 35-49 years – 24 per cent, 50-64 years – 24 per cent, 65+ years – 22 per cent

Telephone-based survey – 76 per cent mobile, 24 per cent landlines

Read full report on Council's website.

Living in Wollongong – residents were asked to rate their agreement with various statements using a five-point scale where 1 meant ‘strongly disagree’ and 5 meant ‘strongly agree’.

Personal wellbeing index – residents were asked to rate their satisfaction with various aspects of their life using a five-point scale where 1 meant ‘very dissatisfied’ and 5 meant ‘very satisfied’.

Residents’ vision for the future of Wollongong – residents were asked ‘what they would like Wollongong to look like in 10 years’.