Town For Sale
Reporter: Georgina Main

The town of Yarram in Victoria's picturesque Gippsland region is 'on the market'.

In the hamlet of just two thousand people, there are around two hundred and fifty houses for sale -- that means the laws of supply and demand are working in your favour.

Julie Nethercote works for the local shire. She's hoping sea changers will cash in on this forgotten paradise, boosting the population, while bagging a bargain. "Because Yarram's been traditionally an agricultural district it hasn't relied on tourism, it hasn't needed the tourism dollar to survive. There hasn't previously been a need to market Yarram so that's why it's a really great secret that's been kept from the rest of Australia", Julie said.

Empty houses could spell the end of this town, so next month they'll host their own open for inspections. "You finish work at 5 o clock and 10 minutes you're at the beach or you're fishing at Port Albert or in 10 minutes you're walking through the Turra Bulga rainforest", Julie said.

It might sound impressive, but country towns are renowned for their lack of jobs. So, the solution is be your own boss and buy a business. The garden centre's up for grabs for just $110,000, and you can walk to work. Just down the road there are homes starting from $140,000. They are prices we can only dream of in the city. "One of the benefits of Yarram is that at the moment we have 12 businesses for sale and the majority of those businesses are people who are wanting to retire -- they've been in business 25 or 30 years, so they are profitable", Julie said.

Dianne and her daughter Rhiannon bought the cafe 2 years ago and haven't looked back. "It's kicking along really quite well. A lot of the business owners now they've got older and it would be good to see new, younger people coming into town and more kids", Dianne said.

In the country, the pub was always going to be a safe business decision for Marion and Nigel. "I'm from the area originally and when it came up for sale and we both had high pressure jobs in the city we decided we wanted a bit of a sea change and we thought we'd give it a go", pub owner, Marion said.

"There's definitely a buzz in the town new people coming into the town all of the time and businesses opening up down the street. A new supermarket's coming in so there's obviously a lot of development happening", Nigel added.

"We don't feel the need to have holidays like we did in Melbourne. Our life is not stressed, we don't have the traffic problems, everyone's warm and friendly and we are actually more active and doing more things than we ever did in Melbourne. So, join us, we'd love everyone to come down!" Julie said.

And Yarram's "Open for Inspection" weekend is on the 18 and 19 October. For further information visit their website at: www.yarramopenday.com.au