The state and federal governments need to keep up support for new infrastructure in Wagga and help the city grow, according to mayor Greg Conkey.
The federal government's Australian Infrastructure Audit, released this week, highlighted the challenges for regional cities and rural ares in securing transport, health and education projects.
Cr Conkey said Wagga's "lifestyle" attraction for new residents could be supported with regional infrastructure and decentralisation.
"A few weeks ago they were talking about the time people spend in traffic in Sydney and it's horrific," he said.
"That's not a lifestyle, that's just going through the motions of living, quite frankly. They would have a far better lifestyle in the country."
Cr Conkey named the Gobbagombalin Bridge duplication, expanded air passenger services, the city's health precinct and the Sturt Highway bypass as future projects to help Wagga keep growing.
The audit warned that "lags in infrastructure quality and access to services in regional centres could lead to a growing gap in productivity and liveability".
NSW Business Chamber Murray-Riverina manager Andrew Cottrill said the audit showed how important it is for government to "turn their words into actions" on supporting regional growth.
"Regional areas need continual investment in infrastructure to enable cities like Wagga to take on some of the growth we are seeing in capital cities," he said.
Cr Conkey said Wagga needed state and federal governments "who were committed to serious decentralisation policies".
"I think Wagga is far better off than many regional cities in Australia due to the state government's desire to have Wagga the first regional city to go over 100,000 population," he said.
The federal audit also highlighted that many councils were struggling to pay for maintenance of the infrastructure they already had.
Cr Conkey said the NSW rates pegging policy and an indexation freeze on federal assistance grants were contributing to Wagga's maintenance works backlog of more than $100 million.