Tuesday, July 09, 2002

NSW Premier Bob Carr wants to offer incentives to incoming migrants, in a bid to get them to settle anywhere but Sydney.

Let's see. The average house price in Sydney is now pressing the $400,000 mark, and will not buy you a lot. In Wagga Wagga (yes it's a real place), Whyalla, Darwin or Townsville the story is considerably different.

Add to that a $7000 free gift by the Federal Government to anyone buying a home for the first time, and truly savage on buying homes in NSW. Is it safe to say there are enough disincentives for moving to Sydney that we can assume money is not the question?

It seems as obvious as tits on a bull that what is needed is a reason for people to settle somewhere other than Sydney that goes past a straight money calculation, and addresses jobs, entertainment, amenity and proximity to your own migrant group. On the North Coast of NSW there is a thriving Sikh farming community built entirely by their own efforts, and using community relationships to assist newcomers by way of machinery loans and transport co-operation. Is anyone looking at this as a model?

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