Lake Macquarie's population is over 200,000 making it the largest city in the Lower Hunter, the 4th most populous in NSW and in the top 7% in Australia for largest growth in a city. The population is expected to grow by 60,000 people over the next 25 years, creating demand for 36,000 new dwellings and 12,200 new jobs.
The population is distributed around the lake in over 90 communities. The median household income is $922 per week, with the most significant change between 2001 and 2006, a growth in the highest income group of $93,032 and over. Approximately 40% of the population hold educational qualifications, with the most significant change between 2001 and 2006, a growth in the number of people with bachelor or higher degrees.
There is a strong upward trend in employment growth over the past ten years with a labour force of nearly 95,000 people. The calibre and range of skills within the local economy is highlighted as 71% of employment comes from within the city. The unemployment rate of 5.2% is lower than the state average, and the lowest in the Lower Hunter.
Industry within the city is diverse, with over 12,000 existing businesses, and approximately 2,000 businesses entering the market each year. There has been strong growth over the last five years in the health, community service, and construction industries. Knowledge and technology-based industry is also exhibiting particular growth.
Over the last five years, investment in commercial and industrial property has increased steadily. Spending on new vehicles has increased from 2001 to 2006, which indicates confidence in the economy, and the ability of the population to access services and employment.
Lake Macquarie is conveniently located on the F3 freeway, 90 minutes north of Sydney, 10 minutes from Newcastle, and 40 minutes from the Hunter Valley and Central Coast. It is two hours drive from Sydney’s international airport, 25 minutes from Newcastle airport, and 10 minutes from the Port of Newcastle.
Express City Link rail services are available on the Main Northern Railway Line to Lake Macquarie on an hourly basis, and excellent road networks provide access to the Central West, Northern Tablelands, Mid-North and Northern Coastal regions of NSW.
Toronto is the commercial hub of western Lake Macquarie. Just 10 minutes from the F3 Freeway, it is a perfect location for businesses servicing the Central Coast, Newcastle, and wider Hunter region.
Toronto has unique lakefront access and is the principal centre for West Lake Macquarie. Although not a large retail centre, Toronto has three supermarkets, a large private hospital and associated specialist medical facilities. Toronto provides a wide range of Government Services, Community, Financial, and Professional Services.
- Knowledge Based Service Industries -82
- Goods Related service Industries - 69
- Person Based Service Industries - 44
Leasable Floor Area (m2) - 55,514