On Tuesday the Regional Australia Institute confirmed what many of us have suspected for some time - that city people are turning their backs on the urban sprawl and heading our way.
The RAI report found that regional Australia attracted more people than it lost to capital cities during the last Census - 65,204 more to be precise.
The institute bases its figures on the period 2011-2016. Post-COVID, we can expect even more people to flee the city as one of the biggest impediments to moving to the regions - employment - is shown to be entirely possible.
The regions will become even more attractive to those who for months have been working remotely. Those who already live here can expect more growth - and that doesn't sit well with everyone.
Locally, a host of issues have arisen around development. The fight to save the remnant forest at Manyana is one. The controversy around the proposed Edgewater development at Burrill Lake is another, with the community divided between those in favour and those against.
And last week, Milton joined the conversation, with misgivings about the direction the town is taking with all its new housing developments.
Residents are asking whether the appeal of the place is being diluted as once rolling green hills give way to a creeping suburbia.
It's not a simple, right-and-wrong conversation but it's one worth having.
On the one hand, growth is required if we want services such as hospitals and schools. It's needed if we want more employment opportunities for those who don't have the skills to work remotely.
On the other hand, the appeal of the place that's attracting people to move here or even just visit has a value as well. When agreeing to development it is vital we insist it is keeping with the land and townships that make our part of the world so unique.
The last thing we want to see is our countryside consumed by the development cancer that attacked Shellharbour all those years ago, destroying one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline on the eastern seaboard.
That said, we can't remain static and expect to prosper and thrive into the future. There must be some growth but we owe it to ourselves and our descdents to insist it is sympathetic to our natural and built environment.