This research examines the consequences of COVID-19 for households in regional Australia, and considers that post-pandemic recovery models designed for large cities such as Sydney or Melbourne may not work in regional areas or less-urbanised states like South Australia or Tasmania.

Key points:

  • The effects of COVID-19 are unevenly distributed geographically, with regional areas likely to face different issues and therefore have different recovery needs in the wake of the pandemic. This research uses Tasmania as a case study to examine how COVID-19 has affected regional housing markets and communities.
  • Regional populations differ from those in major cities, including hosting the most relatively disadvantaged socio-economic populations in Australia. Regions may be more reliant on government pensions, have higher levels of unemployment, higher prevalence of health risk factors, and be disproportionately reliant on local industries such as tourism, arts and culture, and higher education—all industries particularly affected by COVID-19.
  • Recovery policies should be place-based, scaled appropriately, targeted to need, funded appropriately, and deliver long-term benefits for local areas. The Australian Government should provide leadership, engaging all three levels of government, community and private sectors in future, and intergenerational investment in Australian regions to address housing-related disadvantage.
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AHURI Final Report 354