26 May, 2014

Regional Relocation Scheme

From: Lithgow Ratepayers [mailto:lithgowratepayers@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, 18 May 2014 11:38 AM
To: Greater Lithgow Ratepayers
Subject: SMH: 'NSW government grant change will help regional relocation'.


SMH:  'NSW government grant change will help regional relocation'.


From today's Sun-Herald:

"Families wanting to escape rocketing Sydney house prices with a tree change will find it easier to get a $7000 grant after the NSW government halved the distance rule for its underperforming regional relocation scheme.

Families will need to move 50 kilometres, not the 100 kilometres previously required, when they relocate from a metropolitan area to a regional town to access the grant.

The changes to the $10.4 million scheme are designed to capture more families, and encourage residents living in Penrith to shift to Lithgow, for example, which is 87 kilometres away.

Wendy Hawkes, 39, moved to Lithgow in 2007 as a teacher because of the cheap rent. She enjoys the informal lifestyle.

She easily found a place to live in an old Welsh miner's cottage. ''I made friends very quickly.

The community embraced me and I was happy to be here. It is a very safe city and I have no problems walking down the main street at night,'' she said.

Ms Hawkes works as the cultural development officer for Lithgow Council, after completing a masters of arts administration.

More people are moving to Lithgow from Sydney, often commuting part-time on a daily train service dubbed the ''Bathurst Bullet''.

The train departs Bathurst at 5.49am and arrives in the city at 9.30am. ''Most people just jump on and sleep,'' Ms Hawkes said.




But given all the past and recent hundred and hundreds of local jobs that have been lost over the past two years, it all look's a little bit too late for our towns of Lithgow, Wallerawang, Portland and all other Villages, if this report in today's Sunday Telegraph is correct:


"Villages and hamlets dotted across NSW are shedding people who are moving to larger regional centres to be closer to better health, education and transport facilities.

Towns like Wagga Wagga and Dubbo have been described as “sponge cities” by demographer Bernard Salt, because they soak up people from nearby dwindling smaller towns.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that while the population in regional NSW — outside of Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong and the Central Coast — grew by .75 per cent between 2012 and 2013, communities under 10,000 people are shrinking.

In the 12 months to June 30, 2013, the population in small towns fell by .34 per cent."

Regional centres where population is growing:

Maitland — up 720          Cessnock — up 570          Wagga Wagga — 520

Bathurst — up 480          Orange — up 470              Tweed Heads — up 410

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