Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education Andrew Gee, says the time has never been better for Australians considering a ‘tree change’ to make the move and call regional Australia home.
This month’s Regional Australia Institute (RAI) report The Big Movers: Understanding Population Mobility in Regional Australia, found that more than 1.2 million people moved to or within regional Australia between 2011 and 2016 – while 80 per cent of Australians living in country Australia said they had no intention of leaving.
“After being stuck inside throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I think a lot of Australians are dreaming of a ‘tree change’, and there’s no better time,” Minister Gee said.
“One of the biggest barriers people face when considering moving to the country is their career.
“COVID-19 has taught us that working from home is possible, with virtual technologies such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet helping to bridge the gap between the workplace and home.
“Decisions such as what to study, what career path to take, and whether to rent or buy are no longer tied to a city location. You can now have it all, and do it all, from a country location.
“COVID-19 has unshackled workers from city CBDs, with major businesses now recognising that you can work from home while achieving a productivity boost at the same time. Simply put, working from home is here to stay and there is no reason why it has to be limited to the suburbs of the big cities.
“That is why the Australian Government is committed to decentralisation. We are working to attract large and small businesses, and government departments to the country to ensure our regions remain strong and vibrant as part of the post-COVID recovery.
“Affordable housing and unparalleled surroundings are just some of the attractions that saw over 400,000 people make the move interstate in 2018-2019, up 2.9 per cent from the previous year.
“We are likely to see this trend continue, as interstate property searches skyrocket. According to Domain, in NSW alone interstate property searches were up 39 per cent for the far west region and 35 per cent for the Hawkesbury, Dubbo and Orana region (26 March to 4 May). Western Australia also recorded a massive 120 per cent increase in interstate property searches, followed closely by Queensland with an increase of 108 per cent.
“Regional Australia offers an unbeatable quality of life, so we’d love to see more of our city cousins making the move. They’ll get a big warm country welcome when they do.”