Article – Regional Price Index shows cost of living in WA's north has dropped significantly

19 December 2013
ABC News

PHOTO The cost of living in Karratha has fallen in the past two years.

The latest survey of the cost of living in regional WA has shown a significant drop in living costs in the state’s north.
The State Government assesses the cost of 500 goods and services in 27 regional centres as part of the Regional Price Index every second year.
Despite the drop, living costs remained highest in the Pilbara region, followed closely by the Kimberley and Gascoyne.
Living costs in regions south of Perth were marginally lower than the capital, while those in the Mid West, Wheatbelt and Goldfields-Esperance were slightly higher.
The Regional Development Minister, Terry Redman, says the surprise has been the drop in living costs in northern centres, though they still remain 14 per cent higher than Perth.
“The big drivers in the Pilbara and Kimberley are probably the changes in the cost of housing; in the Pilbara it’s come down about 30 per cent.
“But there’s also been reductions in the cost of food and clothing that contribute to the cost of living in those regions.
“What we’ve seen in the past two years is a drop in the price, 13.5 per cent in the Pilbara, that’s fairly significant.
“That means a lot of the investments we’re making, in health and education, and in making more land available for housing, has contributed to a drop in the cost of living in those areas.
“But keep in mind it’s still higher than in Perth, and we’ve still got some way to go.”
Read the full report here.
Courtesy of ABC News