Best Practice Regional Policy Settings – Our Current Thinking
The Regional Australia Institute has brought together its current thinking on best practice regional development policy in a submission to the current House of Representatives Inquiry on Regional Development and Decentralisation.
We see real opportunity for government to further develop the way it collaborates and invests in regions building on existing policy approaches.
The submission makes the following recommendations to underpin a next generation of regional policy:
- Adopt promoting growth in all regions as the objective of regional development policy, supported by a set of clearly defined and bipartisan aspirations for the future of regions.
- Utilise dedicated regional deal making, supported by flexible funding to facilitate substantial future growth opportunities in rural and remote regions. A separate stream should also support the development of regional cities.
- Regional infrastructure funding should be further streamed into dedicated funding pools for community infrastructure and for economic development.
- Establish a new flexibility mechanism to get better value from the existing government spend in regions. This would focus initially on rural and remote regions and provide:
- a place within government for regions to go to resolve problems with national policy settings;
- powers to be flexible in regulation and service delivery in regions; and
- powers to permit pooling of funding to support local services and employment across government silos.
- Embed decentralisation policy in government to increase the impact of government employment and expenditure in regions.
Read the full submission to explore the reasoning and evidence behind these proposals to government.