State’s regional relocation scheme ‘is a dud’: Labor

THE Baird Government has revamped its Regional Relocation Scheme with just a fraction of citysiders claiming grants to move to regional areas, such as the Coffs Coast.

After initially budgeting for 7000 grants a year over four years, just 1166 households have capitalised on the scheme in this financial year seeing the annual budget cut from $49 million to $10 million.

Deputy Premier and Member for Oxley Andrew Stoner.
Deputy Premier and Member for Oxley Andrew Stoner. Trevor Veale

Labor spokesman for Rural Affairs Mick Veitch said people could access the grant for moving 50km away from the city - not the 100km previously required.

"The Coalition Government is refusing to admit the obvious - its Regional Relocation scheme is a dud," Mr Veitch said.

Shadow Minister for Regional Infrastructure Mick Veitch and Opposition Leader John Robertson in Grafton.
Shadow Minister for Regional Infrastructure Mick Veitch and Opposition Leader John Robertson in Grafton. Jojo Newby

Mr Stoner said if Labor thought the scheme insufficient, perhaps it should have spoken up when legislation for the Skilled Regional Relocation Incentive was first introduced.

"The NSW Opposition actually supported the legislative amendments that were introduced by the NSW Government and contributed to the subsequent proviso for a minimum distance requirement," he said.

"In saying that, the Opposition never introduced a regional relocation policy or incentive while in Government for 16 years."

To be eligible citysiders must have sold their home and purchased a house in a country area under $600,000 and vacant land below $450,000.



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