Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders has called on regional councils to play their part in solving the rental accommodation crisis engulfing regional NSW.
Speaking at the Regional Development Australia Inland Growth Summit, held at Lazy River Estate in Dubbo, Mr Saunders outlined the NSW Government’s push to attract jobs and people to rural areas.
“As a government we have already announced four hubs – Dubbo, Queanbeyan, Coffs Harbour and Armidale – for jobs with the Department of Regional NSW and the desire is for the vast majority of jobs with that department to be based in those regions,” Mr Saunders said.
“We’re also promoting other public sector jobs as “regional preferred” and the Department of Regional NSW is establishing a concierge service to work with the private sector in bringing businesses, jobs and people to the bush.
“No government has done this before. No government has placed such a huge emphasis on bringing more jobs and more people to regional NSW.”
Mr Saunders added local governments need to look at ways they can assist with the influx of people looking to move to regional centres, whether they be in the market to purchase or rent a property.
“There are going to be thousands of jobs in a variety of sectors, and the one thing the people filling them will all need is somewhere to live,” he said.
“I really think housing -or the lack of – could be one of the main limiting factors in attracting people to the amazing jobs coming up.
“We’ve heard time and again about the diabolical state of the rental market and how hard it is for people to find accommodation.
“It’s hard to provide jobs and attract people if there’s nowhere for them to live, and councils need to look at not only opening up more land for development, but just as importantly the provision of more medium-density housing options, as we look to cater for a variety of age groups and employment sectors.”