|Avg. Annual Growth (2006-11)
|Growth Rate 2006-11
||258 km sq.
|Key Industry Sectors
||Education and Training, Health Care and Social Assistance and Construction
||Kiama, Jamberoo, Gerringong, Gerroa
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE AREA
Just 30 minutes drive south of Wollongong and 120 minutes
south of Sydney, the Kiama Local Government Area (LGA) is
arguably the most picturesque spot in the Illawarra. It is
also the smallest sub-region in the Illawarra, with an area
of only 256 square kilometres.
Set on one of Australia’s most beautiful stretches of
coastline, Kiama is a rich mosaic of rugged sea cliffs, golden
sandy beaches, dairy pastures and historic towns. The Municipality’s
longitudinal boundaries are defined by the Minnamurra River
in the north and the seaside township of Gerroa and Seven
Mile Beach to the south. Inland is the quaint village of Jamberoo,
set in a quite valley at the foot of the Illawarra Escarpment.
The area’s main urban centres are Kiama, Jamberoo, Gerringong
and Gerroa. Kiama is a hilly township lined on its seaward
side by magnificent Norfolk Island pines. Jamberoo village
is a bustling community surrounded by fertile dairy farms.
The coastal villages of Gerringong and Gerroa south of Kiama
are popular tourist retreats surrounded by farmland and the
According to the 2011 Census, the Kiama LGA had a population of 19,986
people. Whilst the area’s initial population growth stemmed
from dairy farming and mining, more recent growth has been
attributed to the lifestyle opportunity the area presents.
A seaside location and rural outlook have made Kiama a sought
after residential area for retirees and people seeking to
live in there and commute to work in other areas.
Kiama has a resident workforce of 9,602 people, most of whom
are employed in either professional, trade, clerical or service
oriented positions. When compared to overall WSD figures,
Kiama has a high proportion of its workforce employed as managers (indexed at 1.37) and professionals (indexed at 1.23).
Agriculture, manufacturing and mining provide a small but
secure economic base for Kiama. However, the local economy
relies fairly heavily on secondary and tertiary industries
such as construction, tourism, retail trade and community
The main agricultural activities of the area are dairy farming
and cattle grazing. The gross value of agricultural produce
in the 2001 season was approximately $11.6 million.
Manufacturing only accounts for approximately 3.2% of business
counts in the area and is largely based on smaller light
industry servicing the local market. Examples of light industries
in the area include producers of vertical drapes, security
doors, shower screens, printers, steel fabricators and upholsterers.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Business
Register, the Kiama LGA had 335 construction business locations
in 2011. The value of buildings approved in the year to September 2012 totalled some $26.5 Million, more than doubling the $12.7 Million reported in September 2011 due to a strong September 2012 quarter result. Non-residential development contributed $15.1 Million during the twelve months to September 2012.
Retail trade and tourism are intrinsically linked and add
considerably to the local economy. In 2011, the Kiama area
had 120 retail business counts.
Location and Lifestyle
Kiama’s appealing location and lifestyle opportunities
have made it a much sought after residential area. Of course,
the area’s close proximity to the major employment centres
Wollongong and Sydney is a distinct advantage. People are
willing to commute the relatively short distances to work
in other areas in order to take advantage of the lifestyle
advantages that Kiama offers.
Kiama offers a superb non-metropolitan lifestyle in a tranquil
seaside and rural setting. Yet, because Wollongong is only
30 kilometres north, Kiama’s residents also enjoy all
the benefits of having a major urban centre right on their
Kiama has long been established as a summer holiday destination.
Having maintained a unique seaside village charm unspoiled
by over-development, Kiama is one of the most popular day
trip destinations on the south coast. Tourists flock to see
the famous Kiama Blowhole in their thousands. Other popular
tourist attractions include Kiama’s many specialty arts
and crafts shops, the historic township of Jamberoo and the
fun and excitement of Jamberoo Recreation Park. Minnamurra
Rainforest is another significant tourist attraction in the
area, offering visitors the chance to enjoy the sights and
sounds of Australia’s southernmost subtropical rainforest.
The Kiama LGA has a sophisticated infrastructure of tourist
facilities and services. A wide variety of accommodation is
available, from motels and boutique hotels to caravan parks
and country style Bed and Breakfast establishments. Restaurants
in the area have a fine reputation for serving high quality
Local council has a proactive role in maintaining and improving
Kiama’s tourism infrastructure and encourages appropriate
new development. A substantial amount of redevelopment of
Kiama Township in recent years has been based on improving
facilitates and services for tourists as well as residents.
The redevelopment of Blowhole Point and the Kiama Terrace
and the establishment of a Family History (Genealogy) Centre
are examples of major tourism initiatives supported by Council.
Kiama does not provide for any substantial industrial development
with little land available for industrial use. At the completion
of local blue metal quarry activities it is likely that additional
land will become available for a number of light industrial
Due to technological change, the Municipality’s close
proximity to Sydney and Wollongong and the area’s environmental
attraction, it has become increasingly popular for people
to move to the area and work from a home office. The local
Council has encouraged this activity through changes to its
Local Environmental Plan. Kiama Council pursues a policy "to
enhance and protect the quality of life of their residents
and the unique environment of their area" by actively
encouraging environmentally sustainable development.
Last Updated: January 2013