Sea Change 2.0
Illawarra a Regional Hub
2020 has seen a shift in the way we do business and reinforced the importance of personal relationships and trust. As the year draws to a close, our attention turns to the future – what opportunities will resonate with our networks and communities? The Illawarra’s proximity to Sydney has been seen by some as a hindrance to growth and economic development. As we continue adjusting to life with the pandemic, however, our region offers an enormous advantage. Our “sometimes regional, sometimes metropolitan” character allows us to position ourselves as a regional hub. We are close enough to provide easy access to both Sydney and Canberra yet far enough away to be relatively unaffected by high commercial operating costs of these urban CBDs. Images via Kane Taylor (left and right) and Ethan Ou (centre) With over 50,000 square metres of A-grade office space recently completed, under construction or in the pipeline (Invest Wollongong, 2020), and a strong community of local professionals supported by a dependable supply of graduates, the Illawarra is poised to become the destination of choice for businesses looking to decentralise operations with a distributed workforce. A vast amount of industrial land and a world-class port satisfies future needs for local manufacturing and trusted supply chains. Combined with the abundance of office space and talent, the Illawarra is no one-trick-pony! Housing prices in our region have shown resilience over a tumultuous year, recording the strongest growth in regional Australia (Core Logic, Urban Developer, 2020). This points to what many of us already know - our unique landscape, active culture and amenity offer an enviable lifestyle. Sea Change 2.0, as demographer Bernard Salt calls it, could strengthen our region with an influx of millennials entering the “family formation” stage of life, and looking to put down roots in a safe community which is more affordable than a capital city. Our region is primed for the next step. Leveraging the benefits of our thriving business community and personal networks, Edmiston Jones shares the responsibility to realise this opportunity for our region to flourish.