SYDNEYSIDERS planning a tree change by moving to Orange will be eligible for cash handouts of up to $17,000 thanks to changes to the Evocities incentive program.
Amendments to the regional relocation grant program mean Sydneysiders who buy a home in Orange will receive a $7000 grant as long as they own a home in Sydney or have two consecutive years of rental history in the state’s capital city.
Previously the grant was only payable after they had sold a Sydney home and bought another in one of the seven Evocities including Albury, Armidale, Bathurst, Dubbo, Orange, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga.
The changes come alongside the introduction of the skilled regional relocation incentive of $10,000 for employees that hold a skilled job for a minimum of two years.
This incentive will be awarded to applicants in two equal instalments; the first three months after they begin their job and the second a year later.
Orange City Council spokesperson Allan Reeder said changes to the scheme were a definite improvement.
“There are many more renting families who will now be able to make the most of the relocation grants,” he said.
“The program has had limited success but it all helps.
“The research on people who have made the move from one city to another reveals that having a job to come to is the key factor in deciding if they will come or not.
“That said there are always costs involved and any financial assistance is an encouragement.”
Mr Reeder said there were many factors which helped people decide to relocate however Orange’s strong sense of community, wine and food culture, schools and lack of heavy traffic will all prove positive incentives.
“Sometimes there’s a perception that taking a job in a regional city can mean a lower pay, and that’s where the other new element in the scheme, will be helpful. Offering $10,000 to people who move and then hold a skilled job for two years will be a positive step,” Mr Reeder said.
Mr Reeder said the real benefit of the Evocities incentive is that it helps cut through people’s initial reluctance to make a move.
“The long-term pattern is that once a family has been living in a regional city for a number of years, they realise how much better this lifestyle is and there’s no way they would ever move back into the rat race.”
Century 21 Combined Orange’s director/licensee Andrew Vogler said he backed the Evocities incentive concept but agrees that money isn’t the only motivator for people to relocate.
“I don’t think that $7000 is enough to make people move from a metropolitan area because that money would be eaten pretty quickly with relocation costs,” he said.
“However I think it gets people thinking outside the square, it sows the seed that they don’t have to stay in Sydney.”
Evocities spokesperson James Treloar welcomed the expanded grant and said new incentives were a shot in the arm for the campaign.
“There is no doubt that these incentives will make a significant difference to the cost of relocating to an Evocity, particularly young professionals, recent graduates and young families,” Mr Treloar said.
“We see these grants as the potential last piece of the puzzle for the many Sydneysiders who are considering a move. “
Since launching in September 2010 nearly 1300 households have relocated to one of the seven cities.
Research released by Evocities in 2012 found that by relocating, a family can directly boost the economy of their new city by an annual average of almost $95,000.