Does the Northern Rivers stack up?
Does the Northern Rivers stack up? SergeiKorolko

21 things that are essential to a town's success

FOR a town to succeed and thrive, there are 21 "must haves" according to demographer Bernard Salt.

Mr Salt said the Northern Rivers region is a "large and largely independent consumer market offering the full range of Australian lifestyle options from rural to seachange to treechange" which has all (or most) the accoutrements of a city the size of Geelong or Hobart, Mr Salt said.

He said these were namely a university, administrative centre, government departments, airports including international (Coolangatta) plus two-hour access to a capital city.

Here are the 21 big things:

  • Airport
  • University
  • Local TV
  • Local radio
  • Daily paper
  • Military/CSIRO
  • Hospital
  • National Event
  • Private school
  • Affordable housing
  • Aged care facility
  • Sports stadium
  • Convention centre
  • Local entrepreneurs
  • United community
  • Marginal seat
  • Tourist attractions
  • Vocational training
  • Business awards
  • Cafe culture
  • State/Federal/Local government

At a glance, our region ticks off most of these boxes but the big question Mr Salt asked was, can it be more than this?