Get­ting out of the big smoke

Isis Town and Country - - News -

MORE Aus­tralians are set to swap big city liv­ing for a laid­back life­style in coun­try and coastal towns, new re­search in­di­cates.

A re­port re­leased this week said the abil­ity to work from home would help a grow­ing num­ber of peo­ple skip the com­mute and move to “life­style towns” for a change of pace.

Th­ese places were of­ten still near cap­i­tal cities but of­fered more af­ford­able homes and a lower cost of liv­ing, the re­port said.

De­mog­ra­pher Bernard Salt, au­thor of The Su­per Con­nected Life­style Lo­ca­tions Re­port, said there was a “quiet life­style rev­o­lu­tion” in sub­ur­ban Aus­tralia.

Mr Salt said the abil­ity to work re­motely from home was chang­ing the work-life bal­ance for Aussies, iden­ti­fy­ing the rise of more than 600 “life­style towns”.

“The fu­sion of a re­laxed life­style in tree-change and sea-change lo­ca­tions com­bined with su­per con­nec­tiv­ity pro­vided by the NBN net­work is giv­ing peo­ple even greater scope to take greater con­trol of where they live and how they work,” Mr Salt said.

“I pre­dict a cul­tural shift or ‘e-change move­ment’ which could see the rise of new sil­i­con sub­urbs or beaches in re­gional hubs as uni­ver­sal ac­cess to fast broad­band drives a cul­ture of en­trepreneuri­al­ism and in­no­va­tion out­side our cap­i­tal cities.”

About one in six of the 1000 peo­ple sur­veyed for the re­port, com­mis­sioned by the Na­tional Broad­band Net­work, were un­happy with spend­ing too much time com­mut­ing to work.

Mr Salt es­ti­mated about 400,000 Aus­tralians had cut down on their com­mute times by work­ing from home and pre­dicted this fig­ure to grow to more than a mil­lion within a decade.

About 40% of re­spon­dents had also con­sid­ered a sea change, com­pared with 18% who said they had con­sid­ered mak­ing a move to a ma­jor city.

PHOTO: LAHNI CROOKS

FRESH AIR: A taste of coun­try liv­ing.

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