THE ARMIDALE ECONOMY

Armidale - the "capital" of the New England region of northern New South Wales - is undergoing a revival as a regional economic force. Located halfway between Sydney and Brisbane on the New England Highway, Armidale is a cosmopolitan city that is home to the University of New England and many other fine educational institutions. Armidale has been acknowledged as one of only 20 cities in Australia with an abundant, long-term water supply, and its cool mountain climate is regarded as a major environmental asset against a backdrop of climate-change issues.

Armidale differs from most regional centres because it has a long established university, transforming it from a rural town to a sophisticated and cosmopolitan city. Through the University, TAFE, private and public schools the city has become a significant centre of education, creating a wider range of jobs and business opportunities than usually found in the regions. It has a well educated and diverse population who stimulate change and demand a high standard of living.

Armidale's strengths lie in its educational, agricultural, retail and professional services, and it is these industry sectors that provide vital employment for a significant portion of the local labour force. This positions Armidale as a knowledge-based regional service centre with significant economic potential which has achieved a sustainable average annual growth rate of about 1 per cent in each of the past five years.

To fast-track new developments Armidale Dumaresq Council has established a Rapid Response Unit to provide advice and assistance on significant or employment generating development proposals. Council will be happy to discuss a flexible range of economic incentives for industries and projects with a potential for significant growth in the region.

The food and wine tourism sector as well as the fast growing professional business sector is considered of major importance. Armidale has attracted more professionals to the city over the last few years than at any time in its history.
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After completing her primary and secondary school education in Armidale, Kylie Mitchell moved to Brisbane to study building design and worked in the industry focusing on residential housing.

"I had always been very interested in housing design and had already renovated my first home before moving into the building and design industry", says Kylie. "I worked for 5 years with a design company, working my way up to office manager and then lead designer. In that time, I achieved, in co-operation with my employer, 2 design awards", adds Kylie.

"I decided to return to Armidale for a number of reasons. Firstly, to be closer to family. Secondly, I had watched with interest how the property market was developing in Armidale and realised that there could be opportunities for people with my skills and experience. Thirdly, while we had enjoyed the inner city lifestyle, my family and I were ready for the relaxed lifestyle that Armidale had to offer".

Kylie Mitchell Design offers design services for home extensions, renovations and new home design. I consult closely with clients about their individual needs and lifestyle. I also off...


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