Fresh ABS data has shown Melburnians have abandoned the city in record numbers with metro population falling by 60,500 in the 12 months to 30 June 2021 – a crash of 1.2 per cent in 12 months.
The decline is the largest amongst all capital cities in the nation, with Brisbane and Perth growing, while Hobart and Sydney remained largely steady.
While a large portion of city fugitives have moved interstate or overseas, there is a growing trend of resettlement in regional areas.
Deputy Leader of the Nationals and Member for Euroa Steph Ryan said growth in our regions was essential to their ongoing health.
“Seeing these migration trends is promising for the future of regional Victoria,” Ms Ryan said.
“A lot of businesses are really struggling with worker shortages and appreciate any help they can get to keep open and running.
“Five consecutive quarters of population loss in Melbourne is a worrying pattern for the city but shows how incredibly attracted people are to the regional lifestyle.”
While regional Victorians welcome the economic boost population provides, Ms Ryan says infrastructure needs to be put in place to support this movement.
“Regional Victoria has continually been neglected by the Andrews Government,” Ms Ryan said.
“As we watch people flee Melbourne it is crucial money is poured into regional infrastructure like transport, health and education.
“Most importantly we need to see red tape cut and housing supply increased to ensure people can come to regional areas and enjoy secure housing.”
Ms Ryan also cautioned the government’s current policies were risking the economic future of the state.
“While intrastate movement to regional Victoria is welcomed, I have spoken to many people in the past two years who have left the state completely,” Ms Ryan said.
“With 41 new taxes and charges and incredible levels of waste under this government, it’s no wonder people are fleeing the state in droves.
“The Victorians Nationals in government will grow our regions and ensure Victorians have the confidence to recover and rebuild in a new direction.”