ACT News


Forde ranked as Canberra's 'most advantaged' area

The most advantaged area in Canberra starts with F - and no, it is not Forrest.

The new suburb of Forde, in Canberra's far north, was ranked first in the ACT in the Australian Bureau of Statistics Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas, which measures "people's access to material and social resources, and their ability to participate in society."

Forrest and O'Malley were ranked second and third in the indexes, followed by Harrison and Chapman.

The measures used included resident's level of education, the number of bedrooms in their home, whether they were seperated or divorced or did not speak English well.

Whether residents were employed as professionals or managers, and their educational attainment also contributed to the score.


In a sign of how the mining boom is reshaping Australia, Perth now has four of the nation's five most socio-economically advantaged council areas.

The Western Australian capital's exclusive riverside local government area of Peppermint Grove topped the national list, with Nedlands third, Cottesloe fourth, and Cambridge fifth. Yarrabah Shire in north Queensland was rated the country's most disadvantaged area.

Charnwood, Reid, Richardson and Holt were among the most disadvantaged areas of the ACT.

The new statistics offer an alternative measure of advantage after federal minister Joel Fitzgibbon's statement on what constitutes a "wealthy Australian" caused a stir.

Mr Fitzgibbon said a family in Sydney's west could be earning an annual income of $250,000 and still be struggling.

Pat Di Placido, who opened his store Take Me Away Takeaway on Forde's main street about nine months ago, said he chatted to a mixed demographic of customers, including many families and young adults.

"The people I've encountered here can budget better, maybe they've got better jobs, [but] I wouldn't say they've got money to splash around," he said.

Forde resident Catherine Drinkwater, an accountant and mother of two children aged seven and nine, was unsuprised the suburb was ranked the most advantaged.

"It's got a really good sense of community, we really enjoy living in Forde," she said.

Ms Drinkwater said she thought a family needed an annual income of at least $100,000 to be comfortable.

Another Forde professional and mother of two, Carolyn Ross, said she thought it was possible to struggle on a family income of $250,000 a year.

"The price of houses, large mortages and everything else it entails, private school fees, it's just a lot of bills, and life in general," she said.