The future of regional Australia: change on our terms
The Regional Australia Institute (RAI) has been working with government, researchers, development practitioners and the community to consider the central questions about the future of regional Australia.
It has become evident that no true consensus exists as to how to develop regions. Yet there is a growing agreement that the approaches pursued in the past, whilst well-intended, were failing to yield the desired outcomes.
This led the RAI to consider the wider history around regional development theory and practice and its relevance to the broader regional context. The intent of this paper is to start a discussion that reshapes the way we think, plan and act in our regions.
The RAI recognises that many of the themes in this paper may challenge traditional policy practice and discourse. The nature of the discussion is based on the future being increasingly divergent from the past and that traditional practice may need to be challenged.
The RAI has prepared this paper in conjunction with Adjunct Professor Tony Sorensen. It explores the frustration felt by many with regard to outcomes of regional policy and considers a shift in thinking about the future of regional development – for the benefit of all Australians.