Cli­mate lures peo­ple south

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWS - JES­SICA HOWARD

CLI­MATE and en­vi­ron­ment are the top fac­tors at­tract­ing in­ter­state mi­grants to Tas­ma­nia and the per­cep­tion the state does not of­fer sta­ble work is not de­ter­ring peo­ple from mov­ing here, a new study has found.

The pa­per “Mov­ing to Tassie – a brief ex­am­i­na­tion of in­ter­nal mi­gra­tion to Tas­ma­nia” by so­ci­ol­o­gists Nick Os­bald­is­ton from James Cook Uni­ver­sity and Felic­ity Picken from Western Syd­ney Uni­ver­sity plus de­mog­ra­pher Lisa Denny from the Uni­ver­sity of Tas­ma­nia aims to bet­ter un­der­stand the fac­tors in the de­ci­sion to move to Tas­ma­nia.

Sur­veys con­ducted for the pa­per found a range of dif­fer­ent driv­ers for push­ing peo­ple from other Aus­tralian states or ter­ri­to­ries in­clud­ing cli­mate, en­vi­ron­ment, safety and work-life bal­ance.

Dr Os­bald­is­ton said the most sur­pris­ing thing to come out of the re­search was how much of a fac­tor cli­mate change played in peo­ple’s de­ci­sion to leave the main­land.

“Peo­ple are look­ing for a cooler cli­mate, a cli­mate where they ac­tu­ally have four sea­sons,” he said.

The re­search re­vealed in­com­ing mi­grants were not all pre­dom­i­nantly of re­tire­ment age. It also found a num­ber of lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas were ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a re­ver­sal of population de­cline trends in­clud­ing the Cen­tral Coast, Devon­port and Launce­s­ton through a mix­ture of in­ter­nal and over­seas mi­gra­tion.

Clarence, the Der­went Val­ley, Glenorchy, Ho­bart, Huon Val­ley, King­bor­ough, La­trobe, North­ern Mid­lands, Sorell and the West Tamar were ex­pe­ri­enc­ing mi­gra­tionled growth.

Only Brighton ex­pe­ri­enced what was de­scribed as “sus­tain­able growth” – a bal­ance be­tween nat­u­ral in­crease and mi­gra­tion.

Dr Os­bald­is­ton said the per­cep­tion of par­tic­i­pants was that Tas­ma­nia did not of­fer sta­ble em­ploy­ment, but this was not a de­ter­rent be­cause peo­ple were mov­ing to the state for dif­fer­ent rea­sons.

Ho­bart Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds said the study con­firmed that the south of the state was where most mi­grants were flock­ing to.

“Re­spon­si­ble State and Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment pol­icy and re­sources must re­spond to this trend,” she said.

“There is no point try­ing to ig­nore this and con­tin­u­ing to in­vest heav­ily in ar­eas of the state where the population is de­clin­ing.”

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