A quieter life … Australian families enjoy cities such as Toowoomba in Queensland. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied
REGIONAL cities are the most family-friendly places to live in Australia ahead of the nation’s capitals, experiencing less mortgage stress, higher employment and safer communities.
In the top spot … Wagga Wagga is our most family-friendly city. Picture: Tourism NSW. Source: Supplied
Wagga Wagga was the nation’s number one city to live, according to a new report, boasting better employment levels and safety in the city and on its roads.
Victoria was the most family-friendly state – with four cities ranked in the top 10.
Sydney was ranked the nation’s most family-friendly capital city (5th), followed by Hobart (6th) and Melbourne (9th).
Sydney still in the list … but was not the most family-friendly. Source: Supplied
A popular choice … Hobart also made the list. Source: News Limited
Attractive to many … Melbourne is a family-friendly city, and St Kilda beach is a popular destination. Source: News Limited
Suncorp Bank’s general manager Russell Harrison said the report proved that having a happy medium between work and life proved more achievable in regional cities.
“When the city can offer both the work-life balance and give you an equivalent of a high-paying job it’s a good place to bring up a family,” he said.
“If you are feeling safe at night, you are on an equivalent income (to the city) and you’ve only got five minutes to go to work it makes for a less stressful life from a family perspective.
“Six of the top 10 are regional cities and four of our nation’s capitals are featured.”
The Suncorp Bank Family Friendly City report, released today, analysed the nation’s 30 most populated cities and ranked them across nine indicators including education, income, unemployment and mortgage stress.
Historic and beautiful … Ballarat is another place families flock to over the larger cities. Source: Supplied
Wagga Wagga took out the number one spot in three categories including community involvement, community safety and road safety.
Social analyst David Chalke said it’s no surprise regional cities were such desirable places to live for Australian families.
“So many of the problems that plague the capital cities include congestion, house prices and pockets of disadvantaged areas – you tend not to get those in the regional centres,” he said.
“When you sit back and think about it regional cities are quite nice places to raise kids.
“They’ve got family housing and somewhere where there’s a backyard and somewhere for the kids to splash about in the pool and play cricket.”
A calmer way … Australians like the look of Hillsborough Beach in Macaky, Queensland. Picture: Tourism Queensland
Mr Chalke said the “tree-change phenomenon” has long been a desire of many Australian families.
“Older people and even younger people are moving into the regional areas and we forget quite often that although the capital cities have 70 per cent of the population, of the remainder, the bulk of them are in regional cities and not in the bush,” he said.
TOP 10 FAMILY-FRIENDLY CITIES IN AUSTRALIA
1. Wagga Wagga (NSW)
2. Canberra (ACT)
3. Albury-Wodonga (NSW/Vic)
4. Toowoomba (Qld)
5. Sydney (NSW)
6. Hobart (Tas)
7. Ballarat (Vic)
8. Bendigo (Vic)
9. Melbourne (Vic)
10. Mackay (Qld)