Even with Sydney house prices recently coming back a little, the median price is still out of reach of many. Inevitably many end up living further and further away from where the jobs are and end up commuting long hours, and missing out on time with family or personal time to enjoy themselves.
We all know that regional cities offer cheaper housing, and that the traffic congestion nightmare in Sydney is non existent, but it’s easy to assume that these towns won’t have the facilities or the sorts of innovation we expect in bigger centers. But is that true? We looked at some of the exciting things happening in our regional centers which turns show those assumptions don’t stack up.
In Bathurst a 100kw solar power system is being installed at the Regional Council’s Waste Water Treatment plant and is expected to reach completion by the end of 2016, reducing Bathurst Council’s annual emissions by around 140 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide. Over in Dubbo, they are the solar capital of Australia with 25% of the residents having solar panels. Australia’s biggest solar plant has also opened in nearby Nyngan. While in Wagga Wagga, there is a development approval pending for a solar farm which if it goes ahead will generate more than 100 jobs in the region.
Another factor that is of great concern to business owners is access to fast Internet connections. On this measure NSW regional towns really stack up. In Albury, fixed line rollout of the NBN is now under construction. While Armidale can boast of being the first mainland Australian city to have fibre to the premises and be connected to super-fast fibre optic broadband. Bathurst, Dubbo and Wagga Wagga are all in the process of construction or getting connected to the NBN, which is a big, plus for business people moving to the area.
There is also plenty to challenge the intellectuals and academics happening in our regional cities. At Charles Sturt University (CSU), with locations in Albury, Bathurst, Dubbo, Orange and Wagga are contributors in the fields of science, social justice and medicine. While the University of New England in Armidale and Tamworth are contributing to the peer studies on smart farming, the use of Alpacas in guarding against predatory animals and the long term impacts of pollution and contamination based on the study of bronze age smelting sites. CSU has scored the highest graduate employment rate and the second highest for median graduate salaries beating top Sydney universities: http://www.dailyliberal.com.au/story/3902374/csu-among-best-for-graduates/?cs=112
With the average price of homes in NSW regional centres often significantly lower than Sydney, and other Australian capital cities, easier commutes and opportunities for businesses people to reduce their overheads, particularly those that work in internet only based situations, making the move to a regional centre certainly stacks up financially and in terms of quality of life.