Regional Development Australia – its future role

Regional Development Australia is seeking answers from the incoming federal government about what role it will continue to play in delivering on commitments for regional infrastructure.

The Coalition announced prior to the election it would replace the Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF), leaving $150 million worth of recent projects in limbo.

The RDAF was the Labor government’s answer to the Regional Solutions program it scrapped in 2008, along with the Area Consultative Committees.

Now the incoming government wants to replace it with a new $1 billion National Stronger Regions Program, but there are concerns regional communities will miss out on critical new infrastructure announced before the election.

RDA executive officer for Far North Queensland and Torres Strait, Sonja Johnson, says it’s important the incoming government honours those commitments.

“It’s $5 million for Far North Queensland, so I’m very keen to ensure that we don’t lose that money.”

“The difference in the model essentially will be that the National Stronger Regions Fund is a local funding pool similar to the old Area Consultative Committee model, which means that money will be available for the community to do infrastructure here locally rather than it be a transparent, merit based, national process.

Regional Development Australia

Federal LNP Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch has been a vocal critic of the RDAF and is looking forward to scrapping a program he says has been cumbersome and politicised.

“We are going to look at a program that actually will be funded, not on something that may or may not get money into the future, and I suspect the administration of this and working with the communities will actually create significantly more job opportunities.”

Read More  ABC Rural, Coalition back to the future on regional solutions

The future of regional Australia will be the key focus of the Australian Regional Development Conference, 15-16 October 2014, Albury

Australian Regional Development Conference

The conference theme is “Where to from here?” and will cover the broad areas of regional development, economic, planning, environment and community.

The conference will focus on the following themes: Environment/Sustainability; Planning/Building; Community Development; Economic Development; Infrastructure; Employment/Education; and Health Services.

Would you like to speak at the conference? Authors or organisations interested in submitting a paper or presenting a workshop are invited to submit an abstract of no more than 300 words outlining the aims, contents and conclusions of their paper or presentation; or about their intended role in a workshop.

To submit an Abstract for this conference please click on this link conference website or go to http://regionaldevelopment.org.au/

Australian Regional Development Conference (ARDC)
15-16 October 2014, The Commercial Club Albury
Secretariat: (T) 61 7 5502 2068 (F) 07 5527 3298
Email: education@regionaldevelopment.org.au URL: www.regionaldevelopment.org.au
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an initiative of The Association for Sustainability in Business

Focus on health, education and regional development

20th Sep 2013 8:12 AM

New Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (2nd L), his wife Margie (L), Governor-General Quentin Bryce (3rd L), her husband Michael Bryce (3rd R), leader of the National Party Warren Truss (R) and his wife Lyn (2nd R) pose for photographers after Tony Abbott was sworn in as the 28th prime minister of Australia during a ceremony in Canberra on September 18, 2013.

New Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (2nd L), his wife Margie (L), Governor-General Quentin Bryce (3rd L), her husband Michael Bryce (3rd R), leader of the National Party Warren Truss (R) and his wife Lyn (2nd R) pose for photographers after Tony Abbott was sworn in as the 28th prime minister of Australia during a ceremony in Canberra on September 18, 2013. Stefan Postles

HEALTH, education and regional development should be the top three priorities of the new Federal Government, say respondents to a recent survey on The Northern Star’s website.

Ranking least important in voters’ minds was Tony Abbott’s promise to repeal the carbon and mining taxes and introduce a paid parental leave scheme.

The unscientific poll revealed a broadly pessimistic attitude about the future of the region under the new Coalition Government.

Half the respondents indicated they had voted for Labor in the recent election while almost 70% believed Tony Abbott was not an effective leader.

Six out of 10 people believed regional and rural areas would now be worse off, with 41% “very negative” about Australia’s future under the Coalition.

The environment would fare worse, said 67%, as too would health and education, said more than half.

Elsewhere in Northern NSW the picture was much the same, with 57% believing the regions would suffer under the Coalition, compared to just 27% who expected things to improve.

Four out of 10 respondents in the regional poll said they voted Labor, 30% for other parties and 30% for the Coalition.

Almost half the online poll’s respondents were over 55 with just 13% under the age of 35. Almost 50% were in a full-time job or self-employed.

Read the full story here