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Good news for regional population

Thursday, 23rd January, 2014

Brad Moore, who moved to Broken Hill seven years ago, is one of many making the move to regional areas. Brad Moore, who moved to Broken Hill seven years ago, is one of many making the move to regional areas.

By Emily Roberts

A steady flow of working-age people are moving from the capital cities to regional Australia, according to a recent report.

A study by the Regional Australia Institute has shown that more people aged 25 - 44 are moving from cities to regional areas.

And a number of these are regional-born people who moved to the city and are now moving back.

“Talking point: returning to regional Australia”, released on Tuesday, shows there are a number of reasons why people made the move.

These included the increasing value of lifestyle, proximity to friends and family and access to schools, childcare and health services.

Affordability is also key, with the reduced cost of housing and overall cost of living in many regions a definite drawcard.

The RAI’s General Manager of Research and Policy, Jack Archer, said that this was a real win-win for regions and ‘returners’ alike. 

“We do a range of research and normally it is policy focussed,” Mr Archer said.

“This was a bit different, it came from a particular piece of work on population movements.”

Regions can offer people a lifestyle and quality of life that is beyond the reach of most in the city, he said.

In turn, the communities that people return to, and become a part of, benefit from new skills and resources that can be vital to their future.

“This is a good opportunity for all regions,” he said.

“Regions need to work to make people feel welcome and help them develop networks.”

Mr Archer said regional living has many positives.

“Obviously there is a natural drawcard in regional areas that resonates strongly with many Australians,” he said. 

“We want to encourage more people to give it a go and help regions connect with people who might be looking to make the move, and promoting it as a real, positive and achievable life choice.”

Between 2010 and 2011 over 135,000 people left a capital city to move interstate or into a regional area. Of these 34,551 people moved from Sydney to regional NSW.

Brad Moore moved to Broken Hill seven years ago. While he didn’t return to Broken Hill, something has kept him here all this time.

“I moved from Melbourne to live here for 12 months, that was seven years ago,” he said.

“I’ve told people that I’m leaving but they say I won’t.”

Brad moved because he wanted a break from city life.

“I wanted to try the Outback life,” he said.

“I love the place. I’ve worked here ever since.”

Brad has made plans to move this year.

“My dad is moving to Adelaide and I would like to be closer to him,” he said.

“So this year, I will be going.”

There are a number of things Brad will miss about Broken Hill.

“I’ll miss the humble lifestyle this place can give you,” Brad said.

“It’s so easy, convenient and quiet.”

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