Australia's top 10 boom towns

Reporter: Rohan Wenn

Imagine living in a place with the job opportunities of a big city, the lifestyle of a sea change haven, and where it doesn't cost the earth to own your own home...

It doesn't have to be a daydream, if you make the move to one of Australia's 'boom towns'.
1. Albany , WA
Albany is Australia's biggest boom town, with a thriving local industry, jobs on the up and up and average house prices rising a massive 29 per cent over 12 months.
"It's a very pretty town located on a bay and there's been a lot of activity in the timber milling and timber plantation industry in the local area," explained KPMG demographer Bernard Salt. "As a consequence you have job growth growing at a far greater rate than population growth, this lifts confidence in the town and it's had an impact on property values."
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2. Broken Hill, NSW
After years in decline, things are looking up for Broken Hill, with average house prices up 15 per cent in just a year.
Bernard said: "With the reinvigoration of the resources industry, particularly mineral sands mining, in the local area, that has activated job opportunities and slowed down the rate of population loss - this has been enough to kick Broken Hill to the number two spot."
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3. Whyalla, SA
"Over the last 2 or 3 years it has suddenly burst into life as a consequence of a reinvigoration of the steel works in that town that has created jobs, it's attracted people to the town and Whyalla is going through a second birth if you like," explained Bernard.
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4. Busselton , WA
"Retirees, lifestylers are gravitating towards Busselton," said Bernard. "It's also very close to the Margaret River wine growing region, so you have a number of lifestyle factors coming together in this one piece of geography called bustling Busselton."
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5. Lithgow, NSW
Lithgow has seen a real turnaround in its fortunes in recent months, and offers great value for money - the average house price there is under $200,000.
"Lithgow, just West of Sydney is an unusual town," said Bernard. "This town had been in population decline for about 30 years and it has suddenly burst into life as a consequence of the resources boom. The local coal mines have burst into life attracting jobs and people to this once dying town."
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6. Mandurah , WA
"Mandurah has two pistons driving it at the moment," explained Bernard. "There is the sea change factor - it's within 80 kilometers of Perth so it's a very popular destination - but it is also the fact there is an Alumina smelter located adjacent, so you've got industry, as well as lifestyle, as well as sea change driving this town."
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7. Armidale, NSW
Bernard said: "Armidale is a tree change community which is driven by a number of factors, certainly a lot of property and construction activity at the moment, but it also has a strong education sector. Education, tree change and lifestyle is enough to get Armidale into the top 10."
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= 8. Burnie, TAS
= 8. Devonport, TAS
"Burnie and Devonport on the Bass Coast of Tasmania have burst into life as a consequence of all this activity associated with the mining community on the West Coast," said Bernard. "It's the same story, the resources boom pumping up mining which has an impact on the nearest towns."
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9. Bunbury , WA
"Bunbury is both a sea change community located south of Perth and also a service centre for the mining community located nearby at Collie," said Bernard. "You've got two pistons driving Bunbury, sea change and mining town in the one."
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10.Orange, NSW
"Orange is a tree change community located west of Sydney that has a very strong manufacturing base, this is enough to make it one of the top 10 towns in Australia at the moment," said Bernard.
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