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$7000 tree change' grant

$7000 'tree change' grant

June 30, 2011

Residents in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong are being offered a one-off $7000 payment to uproot for a tree change as part of the NSW government’s Regional Relocation Grant. But an embarrassing loophole means that you may only have to move one suburb away to cash in.

The four-year scheme, which kicks off on July 1, gives city slickers an incentive to move from their metropolitan home to a regional one. But defining metropolitan boarders is reportedly causing trouble for the government giveaway.

While the government describes Sydney as reaching from the Blue Mountains to the Hawkesbury and the central coast, Newcastle and Wollongong stretch only as far as their local government boundaries. So effectively, moving suburbs or even across the road in the

Hunter or Illawarra could mean you’re eligible for the grant.

Defending the $47 million per year scheme, Treasurer Mike Baird told the Sydney Morning Herald that the NSW Office of State Revenue would be keeping a close eye on the allocation of the money.

“If examples start to emerge where the process is being distorted or people are taking advantage of it, we will look for appropriate opportunities to address these concerns,” he said.
Only 40,000 grants will be made available.

Who can apply?
The grant is designed for people who want to sell their city properties and move to regional NSW, so it’s only available to those intending to live in the regional property for at least 12 consecutive months. Grants will only be given to applicants purchasing properties up to the value of $600,000 and only until June 30, 2015.

At least one of the people purchasing the property must be an Australian citizen and they’ll need to have owned (or had a mortgage on) their metro pad for at least one year before applying for the grant. Finally this must be the only regional relocation grant they’ve received.

Why relocate?
Governments like the idea of decentralisation and last year the NSW government supported the Evocities campaign. It was designed to encourage urbanites to pack up and leave the big smoke for one of seven regional cities: Albury, Armidale, Bathurst, Dubbo, Orange,

Tamworth and Wagga Wagga. Once there new residents would live, work and invest in developing the regional city. The campaign reportedly encouraged 193 families to relocate.

However, as many as 46,000 people move from capital cities to regional areas of Australia each year, according to reports.

If you’re thinking about making the move and require finance to do so, compare home loans online at RateCity, particularly ones with a construction facility if you’re considering building.

For more information about government grants in your area, visit your Office of State Revenue for details.

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