Is there a man drought?

Is there a man drought in the region?
Is there a man drought in the region? File

IS THERE a man shortage on the Northern Rivers? It depends what side of the fence you sit on.

A survey by The Northern Star found that most single gals say "yes there is", while many men and coupled-up women say the fairer sex are just too fussy.

On the latter point they are at one with a Catholic priest who this week advised Aussie women to marry earlier and avoid the "man drought".

It's drastic advice, especially if you want to hang out for "Mr Right" - ideally a cross between Johnny Depp and George Clooney or, as Northern Rivers many women told us "employed, honest and attractive". (Now that's hardly fussy is it?)

But the bad news is that Australia continues to experience a huge decline in the number of available men - they're going overseas for lucrative salaries plus there's a natural man excess anyway.

This has been documented by demographer Bernard Salt in his book The Man Drought and raised again this week by Federal Liberal MP Kevin Andrews.

He's researching changes in marriage and families in Australia and has suggested that the swing towards de facto partnerships isn't helping more women get hitched.

Mr Andrews has been backed up by a Catholic priest who believes women should forget about living with their partners before tying the knot and just hook 'em while they can.

Father Tony Kerin, episcopal vicar for justice and social service in the Archdiocese of Melbourne, said today's women wanted the best of both worlds.

"Are women getting too choosy? I'd say yes," he said. "I think many are setting aside their aspirations for later, but by the time they get around to it, they've missed their chance. In trying to have it all, they end up missing out."

Mr Salt told the Northern Star that the dire figures in his book about an undersupply of men, especially in coastal areas, still hold true.

"There is always an oversupply of single women in coastal towns," he said.

According to Mr Salt, Ballina and Byron Bay are the worst hit if you are to find a mate aged between 30 and 40. There are 1500 more women than men aged 30 to 39 on the coast.

And, if you are looking for that elusive 40-year-old partner, your chances are even slimmer. Women outnumber men by 16% in this age group.

Those in their 40s and 50s hoping for Cupid's arrow, told us the situ- ation is equally desperate.

"Is there a man drought? Absolutely!" said Carol, a 52-year-old shop assistant.

"Since I moved here two years ago from Brisbane, I'd say you could fire a barrel down the street and not hit an attractive, available man."

Said Kate, a 36-year-old business owner from Lismore: "I've had one date in five years and I would definitely say that I am not fussy.

"All I want is someone to have dinner with, or see a band; just a companion.

"I have a well-paid job and I am self-sufficient. But there is a very limited number of men out there."

There may not be a man shortage as much as there's a lack of quality, single men who are willing to part with their single lifestyle, says Sarah, a 29-year-old musician from Ballina.

"I've lived on the Northern Rivers for seven years and I actually don't remember the last time I went on a 'date', she said.

"Am I picky? Well, yes. But I don't see the point in dating guys I don't have a connection with."

She added: "I do tend to go out to nightclubs so perhaps this is why I meet the wrong guys… but I don't think I'm looking my best at the gym, out running or at my desk at work. So, where else is there?"

Rikki Grinberg, of Ballina Beach Village, which will soon host a Bachelors and Spinsters Muster, says: "Before my career as a resort owner, I was a psychologist working largely with youth.

"I think the problem with most blokes is that they don't know how to ask for a date. Many girls are surprised to find out that 'so and so' was interested in them and response often was 'well how would I know that, he never said anything' which always amused me.

"Most blokes hang around in mute and sullen silence hoping a miracle will happen and the girl of their dreams will acquire psychic powers and read their minds! Well it doesn't happen like that.

"I don't think that there is a dearth of blokes, I think they are all clumping together like frightened starlings in pubs and garages wondering how in the world will they ever meet a girl!"

Agrees Stephen, 34, of Casino: "I don't know about the man shortage, but you can send women this way when you find them."

Mr Salt's advice for all the single ladies looking for someone to put a ring on it - get out of coastal towns and head west of the Great Divide.

Topics:  couple dating men single women

Back with Love and Violence

DOWN AGAIN: The Superjesus are Paul Berryman on drums, Sarah McLeod on lead vocals and Stuart Rudd on bass guitar.

The Superjesus are back after 13 years

Wall of help for Our Kids in hospitals

FUNDS RAISED: Our Kids co-ordinator Rebekka Battista with Woolworths Ballina Store manager Nori Bensley and the rest of the Northern Rivers Woolworths' staff at the handover of $54,772.

Donation helps keep kids closer to home

Tourism division welcomes inquiry into holiday letting

Parliamentary inquiry into short stay holiday lets has been welcomed by tourist body.

Opportunity to help grow and diversify regional tourism

Local Partners

Shannen Doherty reveals fear of dying in post on chemo

Actor Shannen Doherty shared this image of her lying in a hospital bed after a chemotherapy session.

Actor has been fighting cancer since 2015

Eddie Redmayne's stage fright on latest Harry Potter film

Actor Eddie Redmayne stars in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Actor felt like kid again when he got to film with a wand

Salma Hayek: 'Trump planted story because I turned him down'

Actor Salma Hayek is the latest woman who says U.S presidential nominee Donald Trump acted inappropriately.

Salma Hayek latest woman to accuse Trump of misconduct

Brisbane snake catcher shows who's the Boss

Brisbane snake catcher Julia Baker returns in season two of Snake Boss.

Hit show Snake Boss is back for another season

The Summer that Melted Everything

See what happens when you invite the devil to town

Leonardo DiCaprio nearly drowned while filming

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio

Oscar winner almost drowned in Galapagos

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track

Heavyweight enters real estate market

Des Besanko principal and director of Raine and Horne Springfield.

Major rebranding which has seen two big name brands merge