Launceston friendliest place to live

LAUNCESTON has outshone every other big city in Australia to be crowned the nation's most family friendliest.

The inaugural Suncorp Bank Family Friendly Index ranked Australia's 30 biggest cities against unemployment levels, crime rates, broadband in the home, access to health services, schools, childcare, volunteer work, house prices and disposable income.

Tasmanian cities topped seven of the 10 key indicators with Hobart ranked 7th and Burnie tying for 11th with Mackay in Queensland.

The index ranked Burnie as Australia's healthiest city while Launceston enjoyed the least crowded schools.

Suncorp Bank Executive Manager Craig Fenwick said the larger, stressful, "crowded urban jungles" and under-serviced Eastern seaboard capitals were being upstaged by regional cities.

"Despite a relatively low average income and broadband take-up, Launceston emerged as the number one city thanks to its low crime rate, less crowded schools and lower average cost of housing," he said.

Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said Australia was finally catching on.

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