Regional development report provides opportunity to take real action
Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan is urging all regional MPs to act on the recommendations in a parliamentary report to promote growth and prosperity in their regions.
Ms McGowan’s call to action follows the release of the final report from the Select Committee on Regional Development and Decentralisation. The report Regions at the Ready: Investing in Australia’s Future follows a 12-month inquiry which examined best practice approaches to regional development, the decentralisation of Commonwealth entities and supporting corporate decentralisation.
“The inquiry has been an opportunity to take real action on regional development,” said Ms McGowan, who is a member of the committee.
“Having completed the inquiry, the work’s not over. The report includes 12 principles to guide regional development in Australia and 14 recommendations. In particular, I note the recommendation for a consolidated government policy on regional Australia, prepared through a white and green paper process. If we are going to have regional Australia reach its potential, it’s going to need significant leadership.
“An ongoing parliamentary committee would examine and progress the issues affecting rural and regional Australia. I encourage the Government to respond to these recommendations with the same level of commitment it had in setting up the inquiry.
“I want to see action on the recommendation to introduce Regional City Deals for rural and regional Australia, particularly with a focus on regional education. I acknowledge the work of the committee in supporting Regional Development Australia groups as the main mechanism for grounding these regional deals. Let’s do the strategic planning at the regional level and then let’s work with governments – the Commonwealth government, state governments and local governments – and communities to do the planning and strategising to enable these deals.”
“Thank you to the people of Indi. There were more submissions from Indi than from any other electorate in the country during this inquiry. There were 44 community groups and individuals who heard the call. They did the hard work, they put hours of preparation in and they turned up at the hearings. They delivered results and I will continue to advocate for their work.”
The report can be downloaded from https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House/Regional_Development_and_Decentralisation/RDD/Final_Report