New South Wales Regional Cities 2012
The Evocities campaign is a local and federal government funded initiative encouraging people to live, work and invest in seven of New South Waless leading regional cities. By choosing to focus on Energy, Vision and Opportunity (EVO) the government aims to help capital city dwellers move to a regional city, with benefits that include a lower cost of living, strong career and business opportunities and an enhanced lifestyle.
According to the evocities website, the campaign has led to the relocation of 275 people in its first year of operation, with 400 capital city dwellers planning to make the move in the next 12 months.
While the Evocities website quotes traffic congestion, noise pollution and lack of community as the key reasons Sydneysiders should relocate to an Evocity, feedback from other media outlets suggests that a lack of employment, distance from Sydney and crime rates are large deterrents to the move .
A diversified economy is crucial to the creation of a major regional centre. The presence of several sectors of employment such as government, agriculture, manufacturing and tourism equates to a diversified local economy and hedges against a downturn in any one industry.
Typically, the local housing market in a regional centre is considered to be very affordable compared to Sydneys prices, with the highest house median price of the seven regional centres (Orange at $324,500) still 51% below that of Sydney (at $657,000).
Crime has heightened in some regional areas but in most cases is only isolated to certain areas within a city. The old policies that created these areas have subsided, with the state government now selling both existing dwellings and vacant land in formerly government housing estates to owner occupiers, often with an associated covenant preventing them from becoming rental properties.
Remoteness from Sydney was a secondary concern, mainly by residents who felt that moving to a regional city will not meet all their entertainment needs. It is exacerbated by inefficient passenger rail links and limited flights to the capital cities.