IT’S always been regarded as a nice place to live, but 2011 census data has revealed Jerrabomberra has the highest median weekly household income (by postcode) in the state.
With a median household income of $2,691 each week, Jerrabomberra residents have surpassed the take-home incomes of households in some of Sydney’s most glamorous, waterfront locations.
Regional Census Director Paul Williams confirmed that Jerrabomberra had taken out the number one spot in the 2011 census, surpassing second-placed Northbridge by nearly $70 a week.
"What is exciting for the people of Jerrabomberra is that 2011 Census data shows the postcode of 2619 to have the highest median weekly household income in NSW," Mr Williams said
"The data shows Jerrabomberra's weekly median income to be $2,690, coming in ahead of Northbridge, a suburb in Sydney's lower north shore which was the second highest in the state with $2,628."
Jerrabomberra’s high household income is comparable with some of Canberra’s wealthiest areas- around $250 per week short of Forrest ($2947) in Canberra’s inner south, and higher than lakeside suburb Yarralumla ($2580) and the leafy suburb or Red Hill ($2504).
The Queanbeyan suburb is a new addition to the region, originating in the late eighties and slowly growing to its current population of nearly 10,000 people in some 3,000 households.
Long-term Jerrabomberra resident and Regional Development Australia deputy chair Brian Brown said he was surprised the suburb had rated so highly in the census.
“I know we’ve got a lot of certainly high-income earners in Jerrabomberra, comparable to Red Hill and other places, but I certainly wouldn’t of said [highest] in the state,” Mr Brown said.
He said a lot of Jerrabomberra’s household incomes were paid by the government, particularly defence, which employs around 20 per cent of the suburb’s population.
“There’s certainly a large defence [force] contingent in Jerrabomberra, and perhaps defence employees are getting better renumerated than previously.
“And because Canberra has Russell offices where there’s generally more senior soldiers in the officer ranks, than they’re obviously higher paid than your average soldier,” he said.
Jerrabomberra Residents Association president Michael Ziebell said that while many Jerrabomberra households enjoyed high, double incomes, it was a mixed blessing for the town.
“There is a lot of disposable income here, but because a lot of people aren’t here during the day- they’re at work in Canberra- a lot of that money isn’t spent in Jerra.
“As a result you’ve seen places like the newsagency, the video store and the fruit and veg store all close down. The only place that really offers any employment opportunities for our youngsters now is Woolworths and the bakery. So there’s good and bad points I suppose,” Mr Ziebell said.
Both Mr Brown and Mr Ziebell said Jerrabomberra was well placed to succeed into the future, with Tralee likely to be approved in the coming months and Googong now under construction.
Mr Brown said Jerrabomberra was “almost the geographic and demographic centre of the future of Queanbeyan,” and that had been in its favour when he approached the Bendigo Bank to open a local, community branch in Jerrabomberra back in 2007.
“Selling the potential of Jerrabomberra to someone from Sydney…they could see it straight away. And that’s starting to come to fruition now... We’re a hell of a lot closer to the centre of Civic and the Russell offices than what Gungahlin or Tuggeranong is. We’re in an ideal spot,” he said.