Country Week

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The annual enticement offered to city-based businesses, families and individuals to consider re-locating to country regions is on again

The three day Country & Regional Living Expo will be held at Rosehill Racecourse, commencing on Friday 7th August. The annual event is expected to draw huge crowds once again.

The Federal Minister for the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Anthony Albanese recently announced his department would be the major sponsors of the expo. The Minister is excited about this year’s event:

“It is essential we support this expo,” said the Minister. “Moving people to country regions makes sense. Not everyone wants to make the move, but there are many out there who do.

“It is opportune in these economic circumstances for everyone to consider the alternatives.

“Many will be surprised at the benefits.”

This year the expo will launch a Business Investment Board, allowing exhibitors to promote and display the business and/or investment opportunities available for all exhibitors.

The Greater Taree City Council and the Manning Valley Chambers of Commerce will be on site to entice patrons into considering our region as the place to relocate and/or visit. They will be emphasizing the benefits of our lifestyle, environment and the facilities available to all family members.

With most country and regional Councils displaying their region’s assets, competition will be keen. All will be offering many opportunities, benefits and advantages to people seeking a lifestyle change.

The Country Week concept has, in the past, been a success, highlighting to Expo visitors that there is access to a more reasonable and better of standard of living and, importantly, business and employment opportunities. With high rents and more complex lifestyles in the city, making the move to the country can be enticing.

Recent figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal during the past three years, 1.6 million NSW residents have moved their usual place of residence.

The ABS reported that the most common reasons for moving were to live near family and/or friends, to gain better access to work prospects and for lifestyle reasons.

President of the Manning Valley Chamber of Commerce, Jannette Moseley said: “All the features of country and regional NSW provide a magnificent opportunity to entice city people into a change of lifestyle.

“The Manning Valley is well placed to offer a wide choice of living – the environment of beaches and rain forests, waterways, acreage living, schools, universities, hospital facilities, residential and public transport needs are all very well serviced.

“You also have the benefits of living in a safe, flourishing and inclusive community – all without the long drive through peak hour traffic going to and from work.

“Another bonus is that housing and infrastructure in the country and regional areas are highly affordable when compared with Australia’s major urban centres, like Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.”

The ABS figures indicated that people aged between 22 and 36 were the most mobile, accounting for 60%, or more than half, of the people who moved their residence.

“The ABS figures highlight that governments  should be mindful of this demographic when planning for the future in country and regional NSW,” said the Minister for State Regional Development, Phillip Costa.

“This age demographic have flexible living requirements, are still looking at a mortgage, are at the peak of their work life and can offer dynamic and youthful perspective to a community.

“Our own surveys show they lean towards investing in the country, being an affordable alternative and enabling them to become involved in community activities including sport and cultural recreation.”

On the other side of the age group, the survey indicated many more over 35s would make a move if they were guaranteed a job.

“The opportunity to move to regional areas was very appealing for a lifestyle change and rearing children. Those surveyed saw all the benefits and advantages available in having a changing of lifestyle.”

Home-based businesses and retirees were also another target, with the lifestyle aspect and accessibility to many regions an appealing alternative to staying domiciled in cities.

Self-employed personnel with the aid of modern technology are able run a business from anywhere in Australia. Being based in a country region and having close access to clients in city areas as an affordable alternative  is becoming an economic option. The Manning Valley has attracted new personnel in this area; it’s an area which is fast becoming a major growth market, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures.

The ABS report shows that outsourcing of services to small private companies is a huge growth area and is still growing rapidly.

Country Week will and does provide the opportunity for the Manning Valley to highlight  the many positive aspects of changing address. Its close proximity to Sydney and Newcastle, along with the opportunity to take advantage of a more desirable lifestyle, makes the Manning Valley the perfect place to relocate.

The Manning Valley’s presence at Country Week ensures we all look at the long term scenario, taking the approach that city residents should seriously consider our region – even if they are not ready to make a move until a later date.

“Our aim is to get the interest long term,” added Janette Moseley. “The economic climate will shift, we will be building a contact file to keep prospective movers up to date with our region.

“The Manning Valley is well placed to capitalise on any migration; we have land available to attract business, affordable housing and access to a lifestyle that cannot be compared.”

Our region has the right opportunities for growth and to entice a solid investment in many areas. These include manufacturing and trade, property development, tourism and hospitality, construction and engineering, aviation. Also, it is essential to target boutique industries including wine, food and fibre production, agriculture and horticulture.

New South Wales, particularly our region, can boast many vibrant and sophisticated facilities that are the feature of regional cities. Residents can enjoy the opportunities available in our region without large mortgage payments, cost of living pressures, overcrowding and the commuting times that grow in cities every day.

We must promote and highlight the beautiful, clean and uncluttered coastline and beaches, and the sense of community and care that give country regions a real advantage. The expo is our chance to ask patrons:

1. “How much better off are they now than three years ago?” and

2. “ What is going to change in three more years if I stay where I am?”

When answered honestly, these questions may provide an incentive for many city dwellers to consider relocating to the country.

Good luck to our representatives. Let us hope they will be successful in enticing new residents and helping our community to grow in the future.

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