Regions in Transition

regions-in-transitionRegions in Australia are in the midst transformations driven by external forces beyond local control.

From a sleepy seaside village to a growing lifestyle destination, from mining construction boom to a quieter production phase, from a region of mid-sized family broadacre farms to a region of large scale corporate farming assets, or from a large regional town to a regional city.

The Regional Australia Institute (RAI) will track the big economic and social changes impacting regions. We will help regional leaders navigate vulnerabilities and opportunities for their communities.

Achieving Change on Our Terms

The global economy, technological change, the environment and population are all factors that are growing in complexity and unpredictability.

Regions in Transition

This is placing great pressure on traditional social and economic systems in regional Australia. It is forcing regions to change whether they like it or not. To prosper into the future we need to shift our thinking on what matters to regions and empower them to make decisions and respond to change.

The question for regions is not whether we would prefer the world to be different and how we might prevent change from disrupting our practices. The question is, how do we position ourselves to achieve change on our own terms?

Read the RAI’s discussion paper about the challenge of creating Change on Our Terms.

Work in 2017

Work under this theme in 2017 began with a submission to a national study into ‘Transitioning Regions’ being done by the Productivity Commission. The RAI’s submission focused on identifying interconnections of regions and mining places – showing how long distance commuting has widened the geographical impact of mining and construction activity. The RAI’s submission also set out the findings of new research on factors helping and hindering labour mobility, and on the non-economic factors that can support transitions. The RAI will be releasing a discussion paper on identifying and facilitating transitions in mid 2017.

2017 will also see the RAI develop a ‘leading indicator’ of economic transitions in regional Australia. The indicator will bring together a range of up-to-date information on the status of a region’s economy, with the aim of being an early warning of a change in direction for that economy. This work will assist communities and policymakers to foresee and prepare for changes in regional economic circumstances.
In 2017 the RAI will also be continuing its work on transitions in particular areas through the Pathfinder work. This year we will apply the Pathfinder approach to Central West Queensland and use this work to test its effectiveness with a sparsely populated region. The key outcome expected by that region is scenario modelling of the impact that the top 10 regional economic development initiatives may catalyse.

For more theme related publications, visit our Library


Share your story

How is your community managing a transition for the future? Share your story and contribute to our agenda.

Learn more about regional transition

Check out [In]Sight – Australia’s Regional Competitiveness Index to understand how competitiveness enables regions to make successful transitions.

Check out the results from our first Pathfinder project – Shaping the Future in the Namoi to find out how on region can go from underperforming to out performing the nation with a smart development strategy.

Read our policy brief on strategies for Tapping Regional Growth

Read our work examining the challenge for regions in achieving Recovery and Renewal after Natural Disasters

Read the RAI’s work that helped to define the Northern Development opportunity

Read our policy brief from 2012 on Regional Communities and the Mining Boom

Understand how population trends are driving Regional Development and Population in Regional Western Australia