Big-city residents seeking a Country Change

Lured by Riverina growth and prosperity

Big-city residents seeking a Country Change pexels.com

A one-day event targeting city dwellers fed up with the hustle and bustle of city living is on this weekend. The inaugural RDA Country Change Expo in Temora has been campaigning heavily to educate people in city areas why a Riverina move could be a life-changing decision.

‘We’re seeing more people than ever moving to the Riverina to cash-in on the opportunities here,’ said Rachel Whiting, CEO of Regional Development Riverina (RDA-Riverina), which will facilitate this year’s event on September 23.

According to Census data, between 2011-16, over 4,000 people made the Riverina home – an annual average increase of 0.5%. With an estimated population of 170,000, it’s equivalent to around 2.2% of New South Wales’ residents.
 
‘People in the cities are worn-out by long daily commutes and soul-crushing mortgages. They’re looking for the work-life balance and even career advancements that can come from making a Country Change. It also provides an opportunity for older Australians looking to take advantage of the Government’s new downsizing initiatives,’ said Mrs Whiting.
 
Robyn Otley, 54, and her husband, Garath, 61, made the Country Change to Temora's Airpark Estate from Nowra seven years ago. They’re now mortgage free and run two successful businesses.
 
‘It’s a fantastic life. We absolutely fell in love with community who made us feel so welcome. The opportunities here are growing which, as a resident and business owner, is exciting to watch,’ said Mrs Otley.
 
According to data from RDA Riverina, businesses registrations grew 0.8% between 2015-16. The annual turnover range which experienced the largest increase in business numbers was the ‘$100,000 to $200,000’ range, which increased by 4%, followed by the ‘$500,000 to less than $2 million’ range which increased by 50 businesses (or 1.4%).

Overall, the output generated by Riverina’s economy is estimated at over $21.5 billion.  ‘Manufacturing’ accounts for $4.9 billion (22.7%) of total output, followed by ‘Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing’ ($2.3 billion or 10.7%), and‘ Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services’ ($2billion or 9.2%).
 
‘We urge anyone interested in re-locating to come to the Country Change Expo. It provides excellent tools and resources to research a move. You can also meet locals and try the region on for size - it’s really about making the transition easier,” said Mrs Whiting.

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