The secret is out. Warrnambool and the south-west is Australia’s most livable region according to the latest Ipsos Life in Australia survey, telling locals what we already know, but also sending a message to the city-centric Andrews Labor government.
People in regional Victoria matter, and many are making the choice to move to regional areas to escape the rat‑race of the city. They deserve the support of their state government.
Warrnambool ranked above average in every single pillar of livability and scored particularly high in access to the natural environment, lack of road congestion, high-quality education and a strong sense of community.
The Andrews Labor government should be looking at these results and developing strategies that encourage regional development, rather than focusing on increasing density in the suburbs.
The government needs to build on this survey to improve livability, not only in Warrnambool and the south‑west but also across all of regional Victoria.
Rather than leaving Regional Development Victoria unfunded, rather than failing to finish the Warrnambool Base Hospital redevelopment and leaving it at bursting point, and rather than leaving our roads to go to ruin, the government should be growing regional Victoria.
Clearly the public are seeing the benefits of living in regional areas. It is time the Andrews Labor government did too and looked beyond the city and became a government for all of Victoria.