A new resident of Sydney has criticized the city for being dirty, overcrowded and dangerous for dogs – new figures show record numbers fleeing to rural towns.
Tori Allen, 20, spent her entire life in the countryside but left her hometown of Orange, in the Central Tablelands region of NSW, when she took a job 155 miles away in a Sydney suburb.
What she misses most about country life, she said, is the privacy of her old house, because living in an apartment means the neighbors are always just meters away.
‘I would much rather live in the countryside. Sure, you’re further away from everything and have to do lousy chores like mowing the lawn, but you have your own space,” she told Daily Mail Australia.
‘[In Sydney]if I want a quiet place to read away from screaming children, sports fields, barking animals or construction work, I have to travel an hour by bus.
‘Driving yourself would take even longer because of all the traffic – it’s insane! I have a headache here all day, every day.’
Tori Allen (pictured with one of her dogs) moved to Sydney from Orange, NSW earlier this year
Ms Allen (above) told Daily Mail Australia she misses her own space and now has to travel an hour by bus to find ‘a quiet place’ to read
Ms Allen said one thing she looked forward to about living in Sydney was the beaches – but she was shocked to find that many are just as dirty as the streets of the CBD.
“I was walking on a beach and there was a dead rat in the water,” she said.
“There was rubbish everywhere – condoms, needles – and it should be a ‘family beach.'”
An investigation by the Regional Australian Institute found that the top three reasons more than 1,000 urban residents wanted to move to quieter areas were “to reduce the cost of living, avoid traffic, and minimize stress.”
Ms Allen agreed, adding that her dogs also had a better life in Orange, which has a population of around 40,000 compared to Sydney’s estimated six million.
‘If I had the chance, I would prefer the countryside to the city – it’s just more fun. There’s more to do and more space for your pets; pets have a better life in the countryside,” she said.
“If you have dogs in the city, they’re indoors most of the day. When you can finally let them out, you’ll have to deal with all the inconsiderate [dog] owners.
“There are so many rude owners here and everywhere you go is busy.
‘I feel so unsafe walking my dogs when there are people who don’t have the decency to keep their dogs away from mine. Often they don’t even put them on the line.’
Ms Allen was shocked to discover that many of Sydney’s famous beaches are just as dirty as the CBD. Rose Bay beach (pictured), a popular spot for dogs, received a ‘poor’ rating according to recent data
Orange has a population of about 40,000 compared to Sydney’s estimated six million (Photo: Crowds of shoppers in Sydney’s CBD)
Ms Allen (pictured with her dog Tess) believes her animals have had a better life in Orange, saying other ‘inconsiderate owners’ in Sydney make her feel unsafe
The RAI also spoke to former Sydney couple Steven Wright and James Pollack, who moved to Broken Hill on a six-month contract but ended up staying indefinitely.
“The career progression is incredible. Here in Broken Hill I have been given more responsibilities and exposed to greater challenges,” said Mr. Wright.
‘The shared experience of living in a remote city connects people in an incredibly special way.
“I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Data from the Regional Mover Index shows that former Sydneysiders made up 90 percent of people who moved from cities to regional cities between December and March.
It was a huge jump from the 61 percent majority in the three months to December.
Due to the severe Covid lockdowns imposed on city residents, some 70,000 people moved to regional areas in the first year of the pandemic alone.
Liz Ritchie, managing director of the Australia Institute, believes rural life will become more popular as urban people realize that regional areas are ‘prepared and ready’ to move in.
New data showed that 90 per cent of people moving from the city to regional areas such as Orange (pictured) were from Sydney
Former Sydney couple Steven Wright and James Pollack (above) moved to Broken Hill and said they would change their new lifestyle ‘for nothing’
“During the pandemic, we saw thousands of Australians make the ‘move to more’, leaving the hustle and bustle of the city for a life in the regions,” she said.
“People are realizing that moving to regional Australia doesn’t mean jeopardizing your career, income or lifestyle.
“There are high-paying, professional, skilled and entry-level jobs waiting to be filled in rural areas.
“From Toowoomba to Tamworth, from Wollongong to Warrnambool, dozens of dynamic regional centers stand ready to welcome city folk with open arms.”