$7000 to move to the bush

By Dominic Geiger

People in Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle who choose to move to the Lachlan Shire will soon be eligible for a $7000 relocation grant.

The grant is part of the State Government’s push to encourage people living in metropolitan areas to move to regional NSW.

Under the legislation, which passed through Parliament last week, the grant will be payable after the settlement of the purchase of a home in regional NSW and the sale of a home in metropolitan NSW.

The new home must cost less than $600,000 and be the applicants’ principal place of residence for at least 12 months following the purchase.

Mayor of the Lachlan Shire, Des Manwaring, said the grant was a step in the right direction.

“It will certainly help people to consider their options in regards to moving to country areas,” he said.

“There could be some drawbacks however; we can’t offer the same level of entertainment as Sydney does, and this is something people would need to consider.

“Of course, a lot of events happen in nearby regional areas like Dubbo, Orange and Wagga and also in Condobolin on a smaller scale.”

Des said although the regional centres closer to Sydney such as Orange would be more likely to benefit from the grant, he believes the Lachlan Shire will still see an increase in population.

“I’m pretty sure there’ll be a select few who will want to move further afield,” he said.

Rural Sales Manager at KMWL Ray White Condobolin, Ian Simpson, said the grant would have been more effective if a higher amount had been offered.

“$7000 isn’t going to go far, though it is good to know the government is encouraging people to move here,” he said.

“I’ve also heard people say Orange is too far outside of Sydney so I don’t think we’ll see anyone here [as a direct result of the grant].”

State Member for Murrumbidgee, Adrian Piccoli, said he acknowledged the grant wouldn’t cause people to move to outlying regional areas, though it would provide incentive to those already considering it.

“For example, someone of the Blue Mountains could move to Lithgow and receive the grant,” he said.

“But that doesn’t diminish the value of the grant because Lithgow [needs support as well].”

“This legislation is designed to suit regional NSW [as a whole], it is not designed to suit specific regions,” he said.

“It will help people like police and teachers who need to move anyway; it will make life easier for them.

“The grants will encourage [city] families who are sick of being stuck in traffic and struggling to pay their mortgage to join us [in the regions].”


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