Regional Capitals Australia (RCA) today welcomes the strong call to grow Australia’s regional cities by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities in their Building Up & Moving Out report.
Deputy Chair of RCA, Cr Col Murray said that the report was a clear confirmation of the importance of regional capital cities and their role in a growing Australia.
“This report also strongly endorses the RCA alliance, as our calls for action on key programs that will allow ongoing investment in our member cities have been supported by the committee,” Cr Murray said.
The two key recommendations from the Building Up and Moving Out report that will support more growth in regional capital cities were:
- Development of a 50-year national settlement plan for both cities and regions
- Use of the settlement plan to prepare regional plans that aim to:
- Grow regional capital cities as service centres (based on a strong hub and spoke network)
- Create better connections in and between regions
- Explore further decentralisation
- Invest in local government’s role to lead infrastructure development in the regions.
“As the population ticked over to 25 million recently, debate about the speed at which the country is growing has increased and people are just starting to realised that not everyone needs to live in Melbourne or Sydney,” Cr Murray continued.
“Regional capital cities are key to easing the metropolitan squeeze – we welcome the call for people to move out of the big metros and enjoy the excellent lifestyle on offer in regional capital cities,” he said.
“To ensure this happens strategically we will need a national plan to manage this and it is great to see the committee put this front and centre,” Cr Murray said.
The bi-partisan committee also called for more immediate action on population growth in the form of extending resources and funding for City Deals. The committee has stated the program should include the monitoring of all cities by including smaller regional capital cities in the National Cities Performance Framework.
“Taking swift action to resource and fund Regional City Deals is something the government can do today to being to ensure our cities are primed for growth,” Cr Murray said.
“As this is the second committee to recommend action on Regional City Deals within the last 12 months, it now seems that both sides of politics are in furious agreement on the need for and value of the program,” he said.
“We look forward to working with the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population Alan Tudge on expanding this initiative, as well as continuing to brief Shadow Ministers the Hon Anthony Albanese and Stephen Hones, MP on our support for these recommendations during our next delegation to Canberra,” concluded Cr Murray.
Angela Scicluna, Regional Capitals Australia
P: 03 8658 5714
M: 0434 274 457
About Regional Capitals Australia
Regional Capitals 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 platform to champion the strategic importance and sustainable development of regional capitals around the nation. To learn more about our work visit http://regionalcapitalsaustralia.org.
Available for Interview
Cr Col Murray – Deputy Chair, Regional Capitals Australia