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The information about what is a regional area may change. To make sure you have the latest information, please check the Department of Home Affairs (formerly the Department of Immigration and Border Protection) website.

This is defined by law. From 27 October 2016, all States and territories are part of the SHEV Scheme. However, in each state and territory only certain areas are included in the ‘regional area’ for SHEV holders.

They include:

  • all of the Australian Capital Territory – from 27 October 2016
  • all of of the Northern Territory (including Darwin, Palmerston and Alice Springs) – from 12 December 2017, with any others taking effect from 27 October 2016
  • all of regional NSW (excluding Sydney, Newcastle, Central Coast and Wollongong) – from 1 July 2015. Additionally, postcodes 2320-2323 and 2415 commenced on 27 October 2016
  • all of regional Queensland (excluding greater Brisbane and Gold Coast) – from 27 October 2016
  • all of South Australia – from 27 October 2016
  • all of Tasmania – from 10 October 2015
  • many parts of Victoria– from 27 October 2016
  • most of Western Australia (excluding Perth and some areas in the Pilbara and Goldfields-Esperance regions) – from 27 October 2016.

For full list of SHEV postcode, see here.

There are things you need to think about before moving, such as whether or not the area suits you, your family and your situation.

Living in regional Australia

What is it like to live in regional Australia? This factsheet on living in regional NSW talks about what you should do before and after moving to regional areas. While some of the information might not be relevant to those who live outside NSW, most is relevant to everyone who is considering moving to a regional area.

Australian Red Cross has created a series of audio files which provide information for refugees and people seeking asylum about life in Australia. Each episode focuses on one issue. For example, finding a house or keeping a healthy mind and body. The audio files are in 4 different languages: Farsi, Arabic, Tamil and English. The information is not specific to regional areas but people who live in those areas or plan to do so, may find them useful.

Regional NSW

There is information about some of the regional areas in NSW for people on a SHEV who are thinking about moving.

Visiting regional areas

A number of organisations have arranged visits for people thinking about moving to regional or rural areas.  This is a report of one visit to Armidale, in NSW.