UPDATE: Katherine will not be getting a KFC fast food outlet any time soon.
Several people have commented on today’s poll that they would to see KFC in the town, alongside the existing McDonald’s, Red Rooster and Dominos, if the town were to become a city.
But KFC says no.
“KFC Australia see ourselves as an important part of the Australian community and always looking for opportunities to grow and expand,” a spokesman said.
“Whilst we would love to come to Katherine and serve our great tasting chicken, we cannot at this stage confirm any plans for a new restaurant there.”
Fifty-five people have so far voted in the Katherine Time’s poll, with most people saying Katherine is not yet ready to become a city, KFC or not.
Katherine is bucking against a Northern Territory-wide trend of population stagnation.
Unofficial figures shown the town has zoomed past 11,000 people.
In Victoria, 10,000 people is the required bench-mark to be declared a city.
Katherine’s population has risen more than 15 per cent in the past decade, with the latest Australian Census expected to confirm ever greater rises soon.
Some of the Katherine data being used by NT academics they admit is unreliable and needs to be confirmed by Census numbers being released soon.
Population figures just published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the NT is now home to 245,657 people, an increase of 812 over a year ago.
Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, has a population of about 221,000.
For the NT, it represents a growth rate of just 0.3 per cent, the lowest of any state or territory.
Our population represents one per cent of the national population of 24,220,192.
Following strong increases in 2012 and early 2013, population growth has been limited over the most recent years.
Much of the volatility in the Territory’s population growth over the years is due to fluctuations in migration, which in part reflects fluctuations in the Territory’s economy, Dr Tom Wilson from Charles Darwin University said.
The slow growth of the Territory’s population over the last few years is due to net interstate migration losses and lower levels of net overseas migration, he said.
Many people moved away to other states.
Although overall population change was modest, the churn of population (numbers of people being added and removed from the population) was substantial.
This is a long-established characteristic of the Territory’s demography.
Once the new Census data is out we’ll be doing public seminars around the Territory, including Katherine, on ‘what’s new’ and ‘what’s changed’.