An Australian think tank has branded it a "myth" that people have to work in the cities to get a fat pay cheque and plenty of opportunities.
The Regional Australia Institute has been travelling the country holding Regions Rising forums, with the final one taking place in Sydney on Wednesday.
The aim is to boost the "economic and regional prosperity in regional Australia" - and for the RAI, unlike the NSW Government, "regional" means any area outside the state capitals.
RAI co-CEO Liz Ritchie pointed to the positions vacant columns in regional areas to scotch the belief that the capital cities are the only place with opportunities.
"Currently, there's just under 13,000 jobs advertised in regional Australia," Ms Ritchie said.
"You could conceivably double that number because we know that many employers aren't advertising.
"Looking at those numbers alone and then rolling out the fact that the top proportion of job availability is actually in the professional sphere, you've got really good earning capacity."
Data from RAI show that job vacancies are rising in many regional areas of NSW. In the Riverina, they jumped 23 per cent since October 2017 and 10 per cent in Dubbo.
Even in areas where the number of job vacancies have fallen - such as the Illawarra, with a 0.1 per cent drop - it's those in the professional category that are the highest. In the Illawarra and Newcastle, for instance, they made up around a third of the ads in October 2019.
"Part of the series [of forums] is about busting these myths that have existed for a very long time that people believe they can earn more and have better opportunities in metropolitan areas," Ms Ritchie said.
"What we're saying is that's not necessarily true and there are great opportunities for people with the right skills in regional Australia."
As well as any employment benefits that might come with a move out of Sydney, there is often a better quality of life as people no longer have to suffer through long commutes to work and instead can spend that time with their family.
"When you roll out the cost of living in the city, the cost of congestion and pollution versus what that might be in a regional centre or community, the numbers start to speak for themselves," Ms Ritchie said.
"In attracting people to the regions, their place of employment is going to be the number one driver.
"What sits underneath employment what we term as 'liveability'. What education is available, what health care is available, what is the cultural character of that city or community, what are the sporting opportunities."
The story Fighting the 'myth' that only city jobs come with big money first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.