Sea change and why it is occurring


THE mass movement of new residents to regional communities like the Tweed has been given a new name - "amenity migration".

While this label might not be user-friendly enough to kick off a television series like the ABC's Sea Change, it aims to sum up the reasons why many people are relocating to coastal and rural areas.

"Amenity migration" is outlined in a study by the University of Sydney's Planning Research Centre for the National Sea Change Taskforce which discusses more than 140 examples of "best practice" planning "tools and strategies" from Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada and Europe.

Co-author of the report, Dr Nicole Gurran, said the research findings would be useful to local authorities like Tweed Shire in identifying planning principles to help manage growth in line with environmental, community, economic and infrastructure needs.

"Amenity migrants are those who relocate to a new area for lifestyle considerations rather than economic factors," Dr Gurran said.

"The growing number of people migrating for lifestyle reasons is challenging traditional theories that people relocate mainly for economic considerations."

Dr Gurran said population growth in coastal regions would continue due to the retirement of baby boomers, the shift away from manufacturing to information, service and consumption-based industries less dependant on metropolitan locations and more flexible work practices.

SEE Saturday's Daily News for a special report on planning for future growth on the Tweed.

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