In 1950 Jack Beale, the South Coast's MLA from 1942-73 described his electorate as "a place where the economy had never taken off". Prospects for the traditional industries on which the Sub-Region's economy depended, dairying and timber, were no better than they had been before the war. The population of the Lower South Coast portion of the Southeast Region at the 1954 Census was still only 19,026. It had no cities, and only three towns of any size, namely Bega, Moruya and Bateman's Bay, which in 1954 had 3624, 1097 and 1071 people respectively. Between 1954 and 1976 the number of people employed in primary production actually fell by 700. In Eurobodalla Shire the percentage of primary workers in the workforce fell from 33 to 12.5 per cent, in Mumbulla from 66 to 45 per cent and in Imlay from 46 to 17 per cent.