Cash dash offer to leave city

THE NSW State Government is offering city slickers up to $10,000 to move to regional areas like the Northern Rivers.

The Government yesterday announced changes to the Regional Relocation Grant Scheme - previously restricted to homeowners - that would see long-term renters living in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong granted $7000 to relocate to the country after January next year.

There will also be an extra $10,000 on offer to those who fill jobs in regional areas.

Regional Infrastructure and Services Minister Andrew Stoner said the changes would "help grow regional economies and create more jobs in the regions".

Lismore City Mayor Jenny Dowell is concerned. "It takes a long time for people to consider a move and it's not just about money; it's about visiting somewhere and asking (yourself) is this a place I'd like to live?" she said.

Cr Dowell said she understood why the government was offering the incentives, but thought a better solution would be to create jobs in regional centres first.

She said it looked like the policy was putting the cart before the horse. However, Richmond Valley Council Mayor Ernie Bennet said anything that encouraged people to move to country areas like Casino was "a good thing".



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