Local, Independant and Effective

Indi's regional development best-practice on show

Posted October 12, 2017


Today marks a unique opportunity for the voices of North East Victoria to influence policy at a national level.

The community called for action on proper regional policy, and now it is happening. The response from North East Victoria to the inquiry into regional development and decentralisation has been overwhelming. One fifth of submissions have come from Indi – more than any other electorate. As an independent representative and a member of the inquiry committee, I couldn’t be more proud.

What a great opportunity to showcase local, effective delivery of jobs, infrastructure and healthy communities. We have fifty years of experience of decentralisation and regional development on the border. Wodonga is now one of the fastest growing cities in regional Victoria. Albury and Wodonga councils are preparing to sign an historic partnership agreement. 

North East Victoria knows how to do regional development well.

Industry bodies, local government, health services and higher education institutions will all present case studies in what has worked, what hasn’t, and what they need to thrive in regional Australia. Their focus is so much broader than decentralising government departments. It’s about a whole-of-government approach to equality of opportunity. The opportunity for investment.

The opportunity to educate and train a workforce, and encourage families to settle. The opportunity to participate in a digital world.

The inquiry will hear how well people in North East Victoria engage in partnerships across all levels of government, industry and community sectors. It’s this collaboration that’s needed for regional Australia to reach its full potential. Far too often the regions are pitted against each other in a framework of competitive grants and budget submissions. My fervent hope is that this inquiry will result in a proper strategy which enables true cooperation and regional prosperity.

I encourage everyone to visit www.cathymcgowan.com.au/regionalinquiry and read the submissions. It is especially exciting to see how many young people have enthusiastically engaged with the process.

Please continue to share case studies and insights into regional development. As a committee member and independent representative I will continue to work to influence long term policy for regional Australia.

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