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Mid West CCI says lifestyle for families is driving a surge in migration to Geraldton

Matthew PaddickGeraldton Guardian
Mid West CCI chief executive Joanne Fabling says the versatility in Geraldton is behind a surge in people moving to the area.
Camera IconMid West CCI chief executive Joanne Fabling says the versatility in Geraldton is behind a surge in people moving to the area. Credit: Matthew Paddick

The Mid West’s business lobby group claims lifestyle choices are behind a surge in people moving to Geraldton.

Data from Regional Australia Institute’s regional movers index for the March quarter showed Geraldton in the top five for migration.

Geraldton recorded a 294 per cent increase in the 12 months to March according to the data, the majority of whom had travelled from a capital city.

Mid West Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Joanne Fabling said the flexibility the city provides was attractive for people looking to move.

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“If you think about the capital cities and your commute to work, what your lifestyle is worth to you, a lot of people are moving because of that,” she said.

“They want to be able to go to work in as short a time as possible. In Geraldton, depending on where you live, you can do that in 10-15 minutes.

“It’s the livability, you can get up in the morning and go to the beach, you can go anywhere you want by camping, and families are looking for that kind of lifestyle.”

Ms Fabling continued, saying the regions provided opportunities for the working class that are more difficult to get in the capital cities.

“A city like Geraldton has the ability for someone to be employed at the skill of choice because we are a very diverse economy,” she said.

“If you’re a young person looking to get your foot in the door, you can really get a good head start in your chosen career.

“What better than a regional city with lots of capability.”

However, increased migration has put pressure on the housing market in Geraldton, with the rental vacancy rate sitting at 0.9 per cent according to REIWA.

Ms Fabling said some businesses looking to move to the area were struggling to find housing, and called for more to be done.

“We’ve got plenty of land, we need to be enticing large-scale development,” she said.

“If we’re going to meet the demand of people moving from other places, we must really start to seriously address our infrastructure.”

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