Policy.

Importance of Regional Capitals

We're Big Players in the National Game

Regional capital cities are substantial contributors to Australia’s economic performance and play an integral role in the social wellbeing of hundreds of regional and rural communities.

RCA advocates for regional capital cities to have a clear and central role in national policy so they are connected and liveable. This includes having a total infrastructure package to support more growth in cities through transport, digital technology, education, health, recreation and culture.

Policy Framework

Our Policy Positions

Regional capital cities are substantial contributors to Australia’s economic performance and play an integral role in the social wellbeing of hundreds of regional and rural communities.

Our policy framework is built on the idea that we should build the capacity of regional capital cities to increase population, productivity and liveability.

RCA has developed capability statements on these three areas, supported by Position Papers on Physical and Social Infrastructure; Skills, Education and Jobs; Communications and Technology.

Download our Position Papers and Capability Statements below.

Position Papers

Economic and Social Infrastructure

The continued investment in economic and social infrastructure is the most important issue facing the sustainable growth of regional capitals today. Recognising the strategic importance that regional capitals have in Australia’s future, then investing accordingly can add billions of dollars
to Australia’s economic output.

Jobs, Skills & Education

Regional capitals are the hubs through which the majority of Australia’s agribusiness and resources exports move. They are also employment centres for wider regional areas, where demand for service sectors is growing. Regional capitals will continue to be key to Australia’s global competitiveness but more must be done to ensure they are able to adapt successfully to local structural economic change and emerging market trends.

Communications Technology

The complete and efficient rollout of broadband, reduction in mobile black spots and increased competition in the telecommunications market are urgent issues, constraining population and skilled jobs growth. The availability of high-speed broadband services and other connectivity technologies means that people now have choices.The tyranny of distance that has reduced the connectivity for regional capitals can in part now be removed.

Capability Statements

Population

Australia’s regional capitals are growing quickly. Currently over four million people, or about 15 per cent of Australia’s total population call a regional capital home. An additional one million people will live in a regional capital in just under 10 years. Australia needs a national plan to strategically prepare for the growth expected in our regional capitals.

Productivity

As the Productivity Commission noted, the high productivity growth of the 1990s brought home two key messages; first, productivity growth matters as a source of prosperity for Australians; second, the policy environment is important for fostering productivity growth. Australia is now facing a tougher economic climate with greater challenges to maintaining stability and national prosperity.

Liveability

Many people are drawn to the lifestyle and affordability offered by regional capitals. Despite the homogenous way in which regional Australia is discussed and planned for, regional capitals are not rural communities but vibrant urban centres that provide access to essential infrastructure, services, business, employment and education.