Worn-out by long daily commutes, soul-crushing mortgages and minimal leisure time, more people than ever are moving to the Riverina in New South Wales, to cash-in on its opportunities.
According to a CommSec report, the region has the country’s third lowest unemployment rate. Coupled with median house prices of $260,000, it’s lured in over 4000 people from 2011-2016.
“Many underestimate how much is on offer in the Riverina,” said Craig Sinclair, Economic Development Officer at Temora Shire Council, which will co-host this year’s Country Change expo on September 23.
“Not only is there diversity in landscape and amazing job opportunities, people fall in love with the communities. The Riverina also provides an opportunity for older Australians looking to take advantage of the Government’s new downsizing initiatives,’ said Mr Sinclair.
Robyn Otley, 54, and her husband, Garath, 61, made the Country Change to Temora’s Airpark Estate from Nowra seven years ago.
“We had huge mortgages and we hardly ever saw each other… we built our own house and now we’re mortgage free,” said Mrs Otley.
Not only do they fly their own planes straight from their private hanger attached to their home, they both have thriving businesses, and believe the region’s growth will continue.
“My sister is moving out here and she’s already been offered two jobs,” Mrs Otley said.
It’s a similar story for Susan and Nicolas Pardy, parents of two young children, who moved to Cootamundra from Sydney around 5 years ago, in search of a lifestyle change.
“Cootamundra is perfect for raising families. There’s nothing I need on a day-to-day basis that this town can’t provide. We’ve got excellent schools and safe places where the children can play happily,” said Mrs Pardy.
Recognising the decision to move isn’t always easy, Regional Development Australia - Riverina (RDA) and four local towns will co-host the Country Change expo for interested re-locators.
“Country Change provides the tools and resources to research a move. It encompasses the expo that allows you to meet locals and try the region on for size, and it’s a network of people to help make the transition easier,” said Rachel Whiting, Executive officer of RDA Riverina.
“We urge anyone even slightly tempted by the idea of a tree change to come the to Expo and experience all we have to offer, first-hand,” Mrs Whiting said.