Head home to bush

July 04, 2017

Committee for Greater Shepparton chief executive officer Sam Birrell believes many Melbournians have misconceptions about regional living.

More Melburnians than ever are considering making the move to regional Victoria, and a new campaign aims to give them the final push.

The Victorian Government’s ‘Ready When You Are’ campaign was launched on Friday to showcase curious city-dwellers the benefits of regional living.

Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford said it was the right time for people considering making a move to take a close look at our diverse regional cities and towns.

‘‘This is targetted at the 11 per cent of people (in Melbourne) who are contemplating a move to regional Victoria,’’ Ms Pulford said. ‘‘We are trying to take that kernel of an idea and make sure they know what is on offer.

‘‘There are some wonderful case studies for people who have moved from Melbourne to regional Victoria.’’

The campaign aims at easing concerns about moving by showcasing the employment opportunities, affordable housing and public services on offer.

Ms Pulford said the campaign was launched at just the right time, as the government’s previously announced changes to stamp duty and the first home owners grant came into effect over the weekend.

And with the median house price in Melbourne now above $800000 she said it was clear where first home buyers could get a better deal.

‘‘We met a builder in Ballarat, and they had house-and-land packages for people entering the market for the first time with smaller properties starting at $200000,’’ she said.

‘‘That would not get you much in Melbourne, it wouldn’t even get you a foothold in the market.’’

Committee for Greater Shepparton chief executive officer Sam Birrell said there were misconceptions many Melburnians had about regional Victoria’s cities such as Shepparton that might stop them from moving.

‘‘People can think it’s pretty boring, that it’s full of the same sort of people and that it can be a bit redneck,’’ Mr Birrell said.

‘‘But I find the lifestyle far better than in Melbourne, there is a real sense of community, it’s got its own art scene, its own music scene, its own sport scene.’’

And he said the people from Melbourne looking for a change could get that without ‘‘battling traffic and without the crippling mortgage’’.

All of our state’s regional local governments have contributed to the website, with the Shepparton section showcasing our education, housing and employment opportunities.

To check out the Victorian Government’s campaign, go to the website

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