Here at Forte, we love our regional towns. The people are kind, the surrounds are always stunning and there is just as much (if not more) going on in these areas than Melbourne.
Sitting at the heart of Victoria’s goldfields, Ballarat has long being a favourite regional destination with a rich history underpinning its reputation as the gold epicentre of the country, as well as a diverse range of experiences including a burgeoning culinary scene, craft beer, award-winning wineries, historic and contemporary art, heritage architecture and beautiful parklands.
Now the regional city is finally getting the recognition it deserves, having just been named one of regional Australia’s most desirable places to live, according to a new Regional Australia Institute report ‘Big Movers: Population Mobility in Australia’
Identifying Ballarat as one of the top regional destination for millennial movers (alongside Greater Geelong and Greater Bendigo), the report unpacks population trends around the country and confirms that regional Australia attracted more people than it lost to capital cities during the last Census.
“Our organisations have worked together over many years to position Ballarat as an attractive destination for millennials to move to; a notoriously difficult demographic to convert. The report is a pleasing confirmation our collective efforts are paying off,” City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Ben Taylor said.
“As a destination, Ballarat offers wonderful lifestyle opportunities and world class facilities that are attractive to young professionals and families. Our affordable housing, leading-edge health care, growing job opportunities and accessibility to affordable services and infrastructure equivalent of capital cities, make Ballarat a highly desirable city.
“Millennial movers bring so much to our community in terms of enthusiasm, concern and care and creativity – the traits that we uncovered in the Ballarat Prosperity Framework.
“The report confirms The Ballarat Strategy guiding our thinking and planning for Ballarat’s population growth over the next 20 years is accurate. Now is the time for civic leaders to continue to work together with industry, government and our community to ensure we attract people to Ballarat and supercharge our region.”
Within the report, it was found that in total, more than 1.2 million people moved to regional Australia from a capital city, or moved from one regional location to another and that regional areas attracted 65,000 more people than it lost to capital cities between 2011 and 2016 across all age groups.
It also revealed that the top three regional destinations for millennial movers – people aged between 20 and 35 years old – were the Gold Coast, Newcastle and Sunshine Coast. Followed by popular regions Greater Geelong, Cairns, Toowoomba, Ballarat, Maitland, Greater Bendigo and Lake Macquarie.
This report is great news for Ballarat and the region, highlighting an awakening realisation of the potential of a regional lifestyle those looking to make a move.
“The report highlights the importance of coordinated, long term population settlement planning to ensure regional towns, such as Ballarat, are future proofed for population growth and continue to be a destination of choice, as a place to live a full life,” Committee for Ballarat chief executive officer Michael Poulton said.
“The report also underscores why Ballarat’s coordinated efforts to push for state and federal funding for key infrastructure is so important.
“As more young adults choose Ballarat it is vital we continue to push for that ongoing investment to ensure our city and region continues to thrive.”
Photo by ChipShots Photography