[In]sight Theme Paper – Infrastructure and Essential Services
Infrastructure and Essential Services is the RAI’s eighth [In]Sight Theme Paper – part of a series of ten papers exploring Australia’s greatest competitive challenges.
The Theme Paper measures and ranks infrastructure and essential services for regions and Local Government Areas (LGAs) taking into consideration the availability and proximity of transport, educational and health infrastructure.
Key statistics include:
- 17 of the top 100 areas for infrastructure and essential services are regional;
- Residents in 40 LGAs are more than 100km from the nearest primary school;
- 48.4km is the average distance of regional Australians from a medical facility; and
- Seven of the key indicators in this theme are topped by regional areas.
Distance has a formidable effect on infrastructure outcomes. Towns that are similar in population and other characteristics have vastly different levels of competitiveness due to proximity to major cities which provide access to essential services.
Innovative approaches including utilisation of online education, e-health initiatives and productive use of the National Broadband Network (NBN) are important to overcome the systematic lack of infrastructure delivery faced by regions.