THE Nationals have called for waiting list reductions for migrants who choose to live in regional Australia, as a way to reverse rural population decline.
The motion was recently approved at the party's state conference in Inverell.
Gunnedah Nationals chair Murray O'Keefe put the motion forward and said if the plan was approved, the real challenge would be for regional towns and cities to "work their magic and retain them".
"Let's incentivise a pathway for people to become Australians faster, by getting them to engage with rural and regional Australia," Mr O'Keefe said.
"It's a bit of a return service type of deal. If we get these people out there, the challenge will be for the local community to grab them, keep them engaged and make them not want to leave.
"Regional communities have to latch on to these people, and do what they do best - bring them in to a vibrant community."
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Mr O'Keefe said the Gunnedah branch put the motion forward because it could see the need to stop rural population decline.
"Need a injection in both our population and our workforce," he said.
"More population brings in other industries that become self sustaining. Once you get that critical mass, things start to snowball.
"Tamworth is a great example. It's been hit hard with the drought, but because it has the critical mass, it has major industries outside agriculture and has been weathering the drought better than most."
Incentivising people to "get off the beaten track" would also befit metropolitan areas, by reducing the strain on their infrastructure.
"Our big cities are starting to buckle under the speed and weight of their population growth, while we are desperate for more people out here," Mr O'Keefe said.
The Gunnedah Nationals also put a motion calling for a special fund to promote regional tourism, which passed unanimously.
Mr O'Keefe said of the millions of tourist visiting the state, the majority don't step foot outside of Sydney.
Last year, Sydney had 4.4 million international visitors, about five times the 870,000 that venture out to regional NSW.
"There's nothing wrong with the Harbour Bridge or the Opera House, but there is plenty more to see out here," Mr O'Keefe said.