New data highlighting a surge in millennials abandoning the cities for the country life shows a need for Labor to invest in the regions, Member for Mallee Anne Webster says.
The Regional Australia Institute’s Big Movers 2023 report found an additional 54,000 millennials headed for the regions during the latest Census period (2016-2021) compared to the previous Census period (2011-2016).
“The State Labor government through Covid lockdowns did their level best to drive people – young and old – out of Melbourne to the regions and we are thrilled to welcome them,” Dr Webster said.
“We have cleaner air, safer communities and plenty of space to grow. Sadly though our roads are falling apart and we have a health, housing and child care crisis.
“Federal Labor is failing in all three of those areas, whether by expanding the Distribution Priority Areas and bleeding doctors out of the regions, or prioritising childcare subsidies without creating new childcare places, or failing to come up with a viable housing plan.”
Dr Webster said local Shires across Mallee welcome new people into their communities but need more funding to provide services for newcomers to live, work and raise their families there.
“I recently conducted Mallee’s Biggest Survey and of the near 5000 respondents, 60 per cent of people rated the conditions of the roads they use as ‘poor’,” Dr Webster said.
“Labor needs to look over the suburban fence to regional Australia and financially invest in the evident tree change. They need to fund regional councils to provide the roads and services for young people to settle in, have a family and thrive in regional Australia.”