Regional Australia Institute’s regional movers index highlights Waroona as hotspot for relocating treechangers

Headshot of Sean Van Der Wielen
Sean Van Der WielenHarvey-Waroona Reporter
The Shire of Waroona is proving popular as a growth hotspot.
Camera IconThe Shire of Waroona is proving popular as a growth hotspot. Credit: Sean Van Der Wielen/Harvey-Waroo/RegionalHUB

New data has revealed people are flocking to the Shire of Waroona as the area continues to experience a boom in popularity.

The Regional Australia Institute’s latest quarterly Regional Movers Index report has revealed more than three times the number of people are moving to the area than leaving.

It found in the 12 months to June, the Waroona area had experienced a growth in total net internal migration of 206 per cent, the third-highest increase recorded in regional Australia.

About three quarters of the increase is the result of migration from capital cities to the shire, while the remaining quarter is migration from other regional areas.

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The City of Greater Geraldton was the only WA council to beat Waroona’s figures, coming first nationally with net total annual migration growth of 395 per cent last financial year.

Insitute chief executive Liz Ritchie said the two councils and the Shire of York in the Wheatbelt had experienced some of the biggest inflows of people in regional Australia.

“It clearly shows that the love affair with regional living is far from over and highlights the importance of resourcing the social and physical infrastructure that these growing places urgently need,” she said.

“The old myth that there aren’t any jobs in the regions just isn’t true.

“The inflows we’re seeing into regional areas, particularly in those Western Australian hotspots, shows people know they won’t compromise, and can often advance their careers in a regional context.”

The Shire of Waroona rose to first place nationally when only counting net migration from the capital cities, recording an annual growth rate of 287.5 per cent.

The nearby Shire of Harvey experienced a total net internal migration increase of 48 per cent last financial year.

Ms Ritchie said the lure of a happier, cheaper and better quality of life was driving the move towards the regions.

“In 2020, 67 per cent of people thought regional living would give them more time for themselves,” she said.

“In 2023, this jumped to 74 per cent. At the same time, net dissatisfaction with city life is up, and more people are now worried about cost-of-living pressures in the city.”

As reported earlier this year, Waroona has recently recorded some of the highest house price increases in regional Western Australia.

REIWA data shows median house prices in the town increased by 26.7 per cent in the 12 months to July.

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