New dawn for life in the regions
Regional Australia is the best place to live, work, invest and raise a family. Some 65,000 more people moved to regional Australia from capital cities than conversely, according to a Regional Australia Institute report between 2011 and 2016.
If COVID-19 has proven anything, it's that you can work from anywhere. Why shouldn't that number grow even further?
Corporate workers, public servants, accountants, lawyers, engineers, architects - you name it - if you work in an office, do you really need to be in the office?
If you're on the hunt for a good job with a decent wage, why should you miss out because you live in Bairnsdale, Hamilton or Echuca?
Why should where you live limit your career? Why should you earn less because you choose to live in regional Australia?
Your postcode should never determine your potential. If you grew up in the country and moved to the city for your dream job, this is your chance to come home. Don't quit your job. Bring it with you.
If you live in Corryong or Mildura but the job you want is in Melbourne, apply for it anyway. Ask about working remotely. It's up to bosses to think outside the box and make it work. Talented employees aren't just in big cities, they can be found all over regional Australia.
During COVID-19, almost all of my meetings have been held via Zoom and video conferencing. It's what most Australians are doing and it's working.
Under the federal Liberal and Nationals government, more public investment is going into regional communications infrastructure than ever.
Since 2013, we've invested in 1229 new mobile base stations across the nation which are significantly improving connectivity and safety for rural, regional and remote communities.
The NBN is now available to more than 97 per cent of the country. Thanks to the early prioritisation of the rollout in regional areas, the digital divide between the city and the bush is rapidly shrinking.
In the country capitals you can buy a large home with a big backyard and get to work in less than 10 minutes for the same price as a one-bedroom unit in a capital city.
You never sit in bumper-tobumper traffic and have a good work-life balance.
Importantly, our regional centres are big enough to get a good cup of coffee but small enough to care.
Regional Australia ain't broke. Its best years are still ahead of it. The potential is endless.
Originally published in The Herald Sun, 24 June 2020.