Regional Growth: Back to the Future...
The flow on effect of the Covid-19 pandemic is the realisation in Australia that there is more to life than being boxed up in inner city Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and that countless opportunities lie waiting in regional areas.
What short term action in response to the pandemic has taught us, is that much of the workforce is incredibly versatile, and that the majority of roles in a service economy can be conducted remotely, online in the cloud. Paired with a period of reflection coming from enforced lock-downs, many have used this period to look to what other opportunities exist, incorporating an ideal work-life balance.
This has included a re-evaluation of where money tied up in overpriced housing stock in capital cities could be put to better use, offering opportunities to sell up in the big-smoke, and use those proceeds to move to the regions where a new home can be purchased mortgage free (due to the cheaper cost of housing) and residual proceeds used for investment or business purposes.
Governments too will be forced to consider how they decentralise the administrative infrastructure they have created over decades that is wedded to large capital cities. The need to divest this back to the regions from both a redundancy perspective, and an economic need, will direct resources to creating employment and growth opportunities in the regions.
As Paul Kelly waxed lyrical, "from little things, big things grow", the great virus crisis of 2020 will take us back to the future, and make us look to how things used to be positioned in a more idealistic world. Whichever way things roll in the future, the big winner will be regional Australia, and those that choose to make their future there...
The author is a Financial Adviser, Freelance Author & Veteran based in regional North Queensland, Australia.