The Australian Infrastructure 2019 Audit, released by Infrastructure Australia this week has revealed that regional cities are at risk of being left behind, as the infrastructure gap widens between regional cities and capital cities.
Regional Capitals Australia (RCA) Chair and Mayor of the City of Ballarat, Cr Samantha McIntosh, said the report confirmed what Council had long been advocating – that urgent planning for the future of regional cities is now required to ensure Infrastructure Australia’s predictions do not occur.
The Australian Infrastructure 2019 Audit found:
- Regional cities are great places to live because of their culture, unique histories and identities; however
- There are ongoing risks to these cities because jobs in regional cities are generally based on the success of a small number of sectors; and
- The continuing changes in technology and service delivery means regional cities will decline if investment does not keep pace – particularly when it comes to connecting regional cities to other parts of Australia and the world.
“Getting infrastructure investment right in our regional cities is very important, because like many regional cities, it is a service hub that provides access to employment opportunities as well as the all-important health, education, sporting, art and cultural facilities to not just its local residents, but also to those residents in the greater regions,” Cr McIntosh said.
“In fact this issue has even broader implications, because Infrastructure Australia’s predictions relate to all regional cities,” she said.
“Regional Capitals Australia, a national organisation of which I am Chair and a Board member, has found that each day 8 million Australians rely on a regional city for their everyday needs,” Cr McIntosh said.
“The Federal Government should plan for the needs of regional cities by providing more Regional Deals,” she said.
Regional Deals bring together the local, state and federal governments to develop regional cities and identify new ways to support the growth of their regional economies.
“Infrastructure Australia has been clear. The Federal Government should back the growth of our regional capital cities. There have been City Deals announced for many of the big metro cities, so the time is now right to ensure our regional cities get their fair share of investment,” Cr McIntosh said.
“The City of Ballarat will be working with Regional Capitals Australia to advocate to Deputy Prime Minister the Hon Michael McCormack, and Assistant Minister the Hon Nola Marino, to secure a Regional Deal for our regional city and ensure our future is on track for growth,” Cr McIntosh concluded.
Angela Scicluna, Regional Capitals Australia Secretariat
P: 03 8658 5715
M: 0434 274 457
About Regional Capitals Australia
Regional Captials Australia (RCA) is a national alliance of local government councils across the nation representing Australia’s regional cities. RCA’s mission is to provide a recognised platofrm to champion the strategic importance and sustainable development of regional capitals around the nation. To learn more about our work, visit regionalcapitalsaustralia.org
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Cr Samantha McIntosh – Chair, Regional Capitals Australia