MAYOR'S MESSAGE: Good news for the regions
AUSTRALIAN think tank, the Grattan Institute, has delivered good news to regions such as the Fraser Coast.
For years people have resisted heading to the regions because the common perception was that wages are better in the cities.
Well the Grattan Institute research shows that this is no longer the case and debunked the popular myth that the economic divide between Australia's cities and regions is getting bigger.
Their research shows that income growth and employment rates are not obviously worse in regional areas.
Both cities and regional areas have pockets of disadvantage, as well as areas with healthy incomes and low unemployment.
The best news is that while cities have higher average incomes, the income gap between cities and regional areas is not getting wider.
In fact in the past decade regional income growth has kept pace with income growth in the cities and the lowest income growth was typically in suburban areas of major cities.
And unemployment was not noticeably worse in the regions overall.
The report will add confidence to people thinking about heading to the Fraser Coast to work, especially in the growing medical and allied health area which is developing into a major sector across the region.
It will also give businesses a boost as they know it will be easier to attract staff if workers, especially young workers, understand that wage disparity is narrowing.
And it is an important step in being able to keep our youths here. If our children know they can earn as much here as they can in the cities then there is more reason to stay.