OUR SAY: Orange has best of both worlds

RESEARCHERS who declared Orange to be the best place in regional Australia to live are preaching to the converted here, but it will be a different story for city dwellers who pick up on the report, which was prepared for a home lender.

It is no coincidence that affordability of housing was a key criterion in a survey that also looked at block and house size and educational and medical services.

Orange topped the list of “regional suburbs” across the nation, beating coastal towns as well as larger and more well-known cities.

The significant thing for Orange and for metropolitan residents in rental properties or carrying the burden of massive mortgages and hour-long commutes to work, is that the winner is a city west of the Great Divide.

State government relocation incentives and public relations campaigns like Evocities have aimed to get more residents of the Sydney basin to look further afield for a place to call home.

In the past their vision has not gone beyond the coastal strip or the urban sprawl of an ever expanding Sydney.

This survey will not convince everybody that Orange is the best place in the country to live - and even the jargon of the “regional suburb” category is confusing - but on the criteria chosen it clearly stood out for people wanting both an affordable place to live and a community well-equipped with facilities to raise families.

It will be an eye-opener for those struggling in the rat-race of Sydney who had been thinking the only alternative to the expense and the congestion was a massive compromise on those facilities that metropolitan areas have. The secret is now out, that Orange actually has the best of both worlds.

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