100,000 PEOPLEARE HEADED OUR WAY

By ZOE SATHERLEY

THE Northern Rivers can expect an influx of 100,000 new residents over the next 25 years, opening up business and investment opportunities galore, a leading expert on social change and business said yesterday.

MORE THAN 100,000 new residents will move to the Northern Rivers by 2030, and that will mean business and investment opportunities galore, social change guru Bernard Salt told an audience at Southern Cross University yesterday.

By the end of his presentation on The Big Shift to the Northern Rivers ? a play on the title of his latest book ? the audience of academics, government, business and industry leaders, and members of the public were left in no doubt they were living in the right place at the right time.

Everywhere on the Northern Rivers is set to boom within the next 10 to 15 years, Mr Salt predicts.

Mr Salt, a partner of accounting firm KPMG Australia, best-selling author and columnist, was speaking at a lecture jointly sponsored by the East Coast Mortgage Trust and SCU.

He said that from the cute rural hamlets of Lillian Rock and Federal to the cosmopolitan beaches of Byron Bay and Lennox Head, it seems we have what the rest of Australia wants: Lifestyle, lifestyle, lifestyle.

Forget the negative growth figures being predicted by Government agencies like DIPNR.

They are looking at historical data and not at future demographic, social and cultural trends, which are Mr Salt's speciality, he said.

Based on his research, the influx of people to the land of rainforests and beaches will be driven by the surge of cashedup baby-boomers, still fleeing southern capital cities like Sydney and Melbourne.

Fear of terrorist attacks, global warming, improved air services and better infrastructure like the Pacific Highway upgrade will all contribute as drivers of the sea change and tree change revolution.

While those arriving with money will keep on driving up property prices in beach locations such as Brunswick Heads, Byron Bay, Suffolk Park, Lennox Head, Ballina and Evans Head, rural hamlets won't miss out.

Places like Nimbin, Kyogle, Casino, Coraki and The Channon will be the new preferred residential areas for young families, working singles and low-income earners, many of whom will drive a boom in the demand for rental accommodation, Mr Salt said.

"When the Pacific Highway is upgraded and the Tugun bypass is completed in a few years people will come flocking to this region," Mr Salt pre- dicted.

What do you

think?

Phone the Star Feedback line on 6624 3266 or email opin- ions@northernstar.com.auBernard Salt, a partner of accounting firm KPMG Australia, best-selling author and newspaper columnist, predicts everywhere on the Northern Rivers is set to boom within 10 to 15 years, and beyond.



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