POLL: Affordable living, great schools, short commutes: Orange's wares on show at expo

SHOW TIME: Cabonne community engagement officer Hannah Dunlop (right) with Sydney family Mary and John Patania and their children Natalia, Siena and Marcello who talked about moving to the central west at last week’s Country NSW Expo. Photo: GLENN MICKLE

SHOW TIME: Cabonne community engagement officer Hannah Dunlop (right) with Sydney family Mary and John Patania and their children Natalia, Siena and Marcello who talked about moving to the central west at last week’s Country NSW Expo. Photo: GLENN MICKLE

ORANGE residents should brace themselves for an influx of tree changers keen to take advantage of Orange’s affordable housing, educational opportunities and easy lifestyle.

Orange City Council’s business projects officer Tony Boland said Orange proved a hot topic of conversation at last weekend’s Country NSW Expo in Sydney with hundreds of people keen to know more about the apple city.

“A lot of people wanted to talk about schools, work opportunities, health (facilities) and Orange’s proximity to Sydney,” he said.

Mr Boland said many people had made the decision to move away from Sydney because they didn’t think it was a good place to raise children.

“They could also see the benefits of a short commute which would give them more time to spend with their family,” he said.

Mr Boland said many visitors to the expo stand who were considering moving to Orange had already visited here, with several tossing up between two or three other locations.

“Everyone we spoke to who had considered moving had narrowed it down to a geographical area or city or town size,” he said.

“One person was deciding between Armidale and Orange.

“Other people said they’d already booked their kids into school in Orange and now they needed to find jobs.”

Mr Boland said affordable housing was one of the key reasons people were considering Orange, with some people planning to sell their house in Sydney and use the equity left over to cover the total cost of buying a house here.

Mr Boland said he didn’t think regional relocation grants of $7000 and $10,000 factored into people’s decision to move.

This year Orange and Cabonne shared a stand for the forth year running.

tracey.prisk@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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