Australian Liveability Census

Kiama Council

Aerial view of Kiama coastline - coastal walking track

Kiama Mayor Neil Reilly has welcomed the results of the 2023 Australian Liveability Census which provides a snapshot of our community’s feelings about where they live.

Cr Reilly said the Census confirmed our area’s already acknowledged strengths in terms of our natural environment and sense of belonging in the community, as well as our network of walking and bike paths providing connections between housing and local amenities.

“While our strong community spirit is well-known, it’s always nice to see this reflected in surveys such as this,” Cr Reilly said.

“What’s also pleasing, especially as Mayor, is people’s happiness with our natural environment and their ability to get out and about without a car.”

“These are core parts of Community Strategic Plan, which guides the work of Kiama Council, particularly that we belong and contribute, and we thrive in a sustainable environment.”

“That shows, for all our current challenges, Council remains focussed on the same priorities as our community.”

Cr Reilly said the great value of the Liveability Census was in showing where there was show for improvement.

The Census reported, compared to nationwide results, people felt our municipality was underperforming when it came to:

  • Local businesses that provide for daily needs
  • Mix or diversity of people in the area
  • Range of housing prices and tenures
  • Things to do in the evening
  • Child services

“There are limits to what a local council can do to address challenges such as child services or the lack of diversity in our community.”

“However, we do have a role to play, in local housing and business, including a night time economy.”

“A great example is the Kiama Town Centre Planning Proposal that Council signed off on this week.”

Cr Reilly said the Planning Proposal is designed to encourage growth and economic sustainability in the Kiama Town Centre, by improving access, connectivity and movement.

The Proposal is also intended to provide opportunities for diverse and mixed-use development through targeted and well-considered changes to building height limits.

Having a mix of retail, services and community facilities provides residents (and visitors) more reasons to visit a town centre both during the day and after hours.

The intent is also to address the shortage of commercial office space within the town centre, which is a challenge for local businesses and a barrier for attracting new businesses to the area.

“Delivering this Planning Proposal is an important result for Council given another objective of our Community Strategic Plan which is to “create a strong and diverse economy”.”

“This shows that not only is Council able to take satisfaction from the role it plays in the things that are great about our municipality, but that the stuff that needs more work has our attention as well.”

Cr Reilly encouraged our community to read the full report of the Australian Liveability Census 2023.

/Public Release. View in full here.