Standing Economics References Committee Inquiry into Indicators of, and impact of, regional inequality in Australia
Regional Capitals Australia (RCA) is pleased to present this submission for consideration by the Standing Economics References Committee (The Committee) into the indicators of, and impact of, regional inequality in Australia.
RCA welcomes the potential for the inquiry’s outcome to inform the Federal Government’s approach to regional development.
It is the position of RCA that a concerted focus on growth and investment for regional capital cities is key to securing sustainable growth in our regions.
This submission specifically focuses on the following key areas:
1. Congestion in big metropolitan cities; and
2. Continuation of access to services and infrastructure in small rural towns.
Inquiry Into Regional Development and Decentralisation
Select Committee on Regional Development and Decentralisation Inquiry into Regional Development and Decentralisation
Regional Capitals Australia (RCA) is pleased to present this submission for consideration by the Select Committee on Regional Development and Decentralisation (‘the Committee’) into Regional Development and Decentralisation.
RCA submits that the Committee’s comprehensive inquiry into regional development and decentralisation is well-timed, and with clear recommendations for growth has the potential to trigger enormous economic stimulus for RCCs, and facilitate the diversification of regional economies.
This submission specifically focuses on three key areas:
1. How an integrated, long-term regional policy that aims to build strong regional cities is crucial the success of Australia’s regions;
2. How decentralisation drives social and economic development and is best deployed in RCCs; and
3. What value-adding initiatives should be deployed to support decentralisation.
Inquiry Into Regional Development and Decentralisation
Productivity Commission Inquiry into Transitioning Regional Economies Interim Report
Regional Capitals Australia (RCA) is pleased to present this second submission for consideration by the Productivity Commission (the Commission) and welcomes the potential for the study’s outcome to inform the government’s approach to regional policy.
As noted in RCA’s initial submission on this issue, in addition to findings in the Commission’s Interim Report: transitioning economies and productivity declines are not the domain of regional Australia alone. Job losses in traditional labour markets are occurring nationally, including large numbers in the suburbs of Melbourne and Sydney.
It is well documented, however, that as this transition is occurring, metropolitan cities are also gaining the benefit of the growth in the service and knowledge sectors, which are found predominantly in capital city CBDs and in growing proportions in some regional cities.
House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities Inquiry into the Australian Government’s role in the development of cities
Regional cities are growing due to changes in the preference of people wanting to live in urban areas, international migration and housing affordability. Our member cities still have room to grow, so to make sure they continue to attract both business and residents – a clear plan from government is required. RCA has made the case that planning for regional cities should be a key feature of both the Smart Cities and Regions 2030 frameworks.
The submission focuses on the following key areas, which will enable existing regional capital cities to continue to grow and develop:
1. Promoting the development of our RCCs and master planning; and
2. Promoting private investment and the competitive advantage of RCCs to achieve balanced regional development.
Senate and Public Administration Committee Inquiry into the operation, effectiveness and consequences of the Public Governance, Performance, Accountability (Location of Corporate Commonwealth Entities) Order 2016
Regional Capitals Australia (RCA) is pleased to present this submission for consideration by the Productivity Commission Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee (‘the Committee’) into the operation, effectiveness and consequences of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (Location of Corporate Commonwealth Entities) Order 2016.
RCA submits that the investigation into decentralisation should have a wider application, as such a policy has the potential to trigger enormous economic stimulus for regional capital cities (RCCs), and facilitate the diversification of regional economies.
It is the position of RCA that the time is right to have a national conversation about moving more government jobs to RCCs, and hopes the outcomes of the inquiry will help the Federal Government recognise the potential productivity of RCCs, and the importance of including more decentralisation initiatives as part of regional development objectives.
Productivity Commission: Inquiry into Transitioning Regional Economies
Regional Capitals Australia (RCA) is pleased to present this submission for consideration by the Productivity Commission and welcomes the potential for the study’s outcome to inform the government’s approach to regional policy. All cities that work are economic assets – that is why it is the position of RCA that the productivity of regional Australia can only grow if the role of urban centres in regional Australia are adequately planned for, funded and their performance is measured. Further, RCA submits that the importance of RCCs to their wider region be specifically recognised as part of the national regional policy going forward.
RCA understands the challenges of the current fiscal environment but submits investing in Regional Capital Cities (RCC) presents a valuable opportunity to capitalise on Australia’s unique strengths and improve national productivity. RCA stands ready to work with the Government to deliver a long-term agenda to increase Australia’s productivity and looks forward to contributing to the development of a new regional policy strategy in 2017.
Regional City Deals Competitive Process - submission
The purpose of this paper is to present the views of the Regional Capitals Australia (RCA)
membership in relation to the regional city stream of the city deal process. While the paper represents RCA’s agreed policy positions, our members’ views have been additionally sought so that guidelines under development by the Government enable strong applications from our member cities.
It is the position of RCA that the Government use the upcoming competitive process for regional City Deals as one of prioritisation. Accordingly, the feedback contained in this submission provides the framework for how this competitive prioritisation should occur.
Many people are drawn to the lifestyle and affordability offered by regional capital
cities. Ensuring these cities continue to grow in a sustainable manner is vital to our
economy and the future of regional Australia. More than 25 per cent of regional capital cities are growing faster than the national average, with one million additional people projected to live in a regional capital city in less than ten years. We believe that this figure could be much higher with a concerted focus on growth and investment policies for our cities.
Senate Inquiry into the future role and contribution of regional capitals to Australia
Regional capitals deserve a place in national policy that includes a strategic approach to funding that flexibly and systematically delivers on the specific service and physical infrastructure needs of each regional capital and its region.
A common understanding of the policies needed to solve the wider economic and social problems of the regions is critical to ensuring that we deliver on the opportunities inherent in them and drive longer term economic growth.
RCA understands the challenges of the current fiscal environment and the difficulty in preparing a Budget that fulfils the Government’s commitment to return the Budget to surplus within ten years. Investing in Regional Capitals presents a valuable opportunity to capitalise on Australia’s unique strengths and improve overall productivity. Regional Capitals Australia stands ready to work with the Government to deliver an agenda increasing Australia’s productivity and international competitiveness.
The following reports have been commissioned by RCA and delivered in conjunction with our research partners.
Australian Centre for Excellence in Local Government Report: “Local Government Growing Regional Australia”
In 2014 a major research project was undertaken as a collaborative study between the Regional Capitals Australia (RCA) group and the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG) under ACELG’s Research Partnership Program. The study investigated the factors that contribute to building strong sustainable regional capitals and regions with a particular focus on identifying key governance and leadership ingredients and the part played by regional capital local governments in attaining this outcome.
Essential Economics Report: “Key characteristics of Australia’s Regional Capitals”
Australia’s Regional Capitals comprise of 50 Local Government Areas (LGAs) dispersed across all states and territories, and include cities, towns, shires, regional and rural areas. As part of RCA’s ongoing advocacy with all levels of government, a robust socio-economic evidence base is required which highlights the contribution regional cities make to the national economy, as well as identifying issues that act as constraints towards economic development in these areas.