City dwellers eye Benalla as destination of choice
08 December 2021
People are moving to Benalla in droves, with the area experiencing a 33 per cent growth in migration last year, data from the Regional Movers Index shows.
The index, developed by the Regional Australia Institute, analyses movements between Australia’s regions and capital cities.
Benalla’s year on year migration growth was higher than Greater Bendigo (19 per cent) Shepparton (27 per cent) and holiday hotspots Noosa (29 per cent) and the Gold Coast (11 per cent) but lower than Wangaratta (46 per cent).
Deputy Nationals leader Steph Ryan says the data underscored the importance of addressing housing affordability and the folly of Labor’s new housing tax.
“Labor’s lockdowns have had an unexpected upside in that more city dwellers now see the immense value in regional living, however the government needs to act swiftly to ensure this growth doesn’t compound existing issues with housing affordability for locals,” Ms Ryan said.
“Many locals have told me they are having trouble finding housing in Benalla.
“The average house price in Benalla has increased from $285,000 in June 2020 to $335,000 in June this year – an increase of $50,000 in a single year.
“Meanwhile Labor is about to whack a giant tax on new houses which will make housing less affordable by driving up the average cost of a new house block by $30,000.”
Ms Ryan said if elected to government The Nationals would bring an extra 50,000 new housing lots to market across rural and regional Victoria.
“We need to make sure local people can buy a house, whether it be their first home or their dream home,” Ms Ryan said.
“We will also reinstate the successful rural flying planning squad with specialist planners to help cut the lengthy delays of local councils.”
Ms Ryan said Labor was applying the new housing tax because of cost blowouts on major projects, totalling $22 billion.
“Just last month the state’s Auditor General found Labor racked up a $3 billion deficit last year, not accounting for the costs of managing COVID. That’s like a household spending $30,000 more than they earn each year,” Ms Ryan said.
“Labor is taxing country people to pay for enormous cost overruns on city transport projects. Young people and families seeking to buy a home should not have to pay for Labor’s waste and incompetence.”