THOSE living in NSW metropolitan cities are being encouraged to pack their bags and move to regional centres, including Albury, with an announcement the state’s Regional Relocation Grant will be extended to long-term renters.
Member for Albury Greg Aplin said the $7000 grant offered to those who moved to regional centres would help resolve a housing shortage in Sydney.
“Now that it includes renters as well, there are more people to encourage,” he said.
“We want to attract people who can move to this area and create opportunities of employment by creating businesses.”
Albury Council has been part of Evocities, an initiative to encourage more people to regional centres.
But Greater Hume mayor Heather Wilton said she did not believe the grant would encourage people to move to regional areas.
“I don’t really know if this will work for us,” she said.
“What’s $7000 for those who own or live on a property worth $700,000?
“That’s the reality and I just wonder whether it’s worth the paperwork.”
Cr Wilton said patronage of the program might improve now it had been extended to long-term renters but people would not be willing to move from the major cities if there were no jobs available.
The NSW government has also announced an incentive of $10,000 to encourage people to relocate from metropolitan centres to regional NSW for employment.
“I think that is a better arrangement but once again there needs to be jobs available,” Cr Wilton said.
Mr Aplin said if more people moved to Albury, the increased population would stimulate the property market and construction industry.
Ray White Albury sales consultant Donna Duncan said she believed the grant would inspire more people to look outside metropolitan centres.
“It will boost local economies and such incentives will further encourage growth in areas,” she said.
“Not only will it add to the local real estate market but also to the productivity of local communities.”
She said she believed the grant would benefit the real estate industry because it encouraged more investors.