Kalgoorlie tops list of best graduate cities

Kalgoorlie's iconic Exchange Hotel. Image: Wikimedia Commons

A list of the top five Australian cities for graduates shows the country’s larger urban hubs are nowhere to be found.

The mining city of Kalgoorlie-Boulder in Western Australia has triumphed as the best city in Australia for graduates, according to a report from insurance specialist Budget Direct.

Armidale (New South Wales), Canberra (Australian Capital Territory), Gold Coast (Queensland) and Ballarat (Victoria) secured the second to fifth place positions in the list, respectively.

Budget Direct collated the data from Numbeo a global database of city- and country-related information contributed by users and the Australian Government Department of Jobs and Small Business, based on factors such as average monthly salaries and rents, cost of utilities and transport, average costs of dining, alcohol and cinema tickets and job availability.

Kalgoorlie won out for its combination of solid job prospects, highest average monthly net salary ($6368.78) and lowest average rent price for a one-bedroom, inner city apartment ($980). The city also boasted the lowest average price for monthly utilities ($170).

“In terms of job prospects, Kalgoorlie is a very attractive destination for graduates,” the report stated.

“According to 2017 data from the Department of Jobs and Small Business, 95 per cent of apprentice/entry level job vacancies are filled in Western Australia, which is the highest percentage of any Australian state.”

However, a March 2019 vacancy report from the Department of Jobs and Small Business showed that Western Australia, with its smaller overall population, ranked fourth of the states and territories with 16,000 vacancies.

High salaries in Kalgoorlie are also attributed to the strong presence of the mining industry, which has a long association with the city dating back 125 years.

Kalgoorlie serves as the central hub of the highly prospective Goldfields-Esperance region, including the large KCGM Super Pit, a 50:50 joint venture between Barrick Gold and Newmont Mining.

Other notable gold operations in the region include Newcrest’s Telfer mine; Northern Star’s Kanowna Belle and Jundee mines; Gold Fields’ Granny Smith, St Ives and Agnew mines; Evolution Mining’s Frog’s Leg and Edna May mines; St Barbara’s Gwalia gold mine; and AngloGold Ashanti’s Sunrise Dam and Tropicana mines.

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