Preparing for growth in Australia’s cities and regions

Media Release

Investment in urban and regional infrastructure will be better informed with the release of the Progress in Australian Regions—State of Regional Australia 2015 and State of Australian Cities 2014-15 publications today.

The publications provide an understanding of the nation’s overall economic and social wellbeing.

The economic output of our major cities has grown and their national importance remains extremely high, although mining activity in regional Australia has seen the overall percentage contribution by major cities to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) dip slightly. [Page 1, State of the Cities 2014-15].

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the release of both reports provides a deeper, more complete picture of the population, employment, economic and transport trends that are occurring across Australia.

“Building the infrastructure Australia needs for the future is best informed by a thorough understanding of the challenges ahead, and these publications will provide vital information for infrastructure planners and communities,” Mr Truss said.

“The Australian Government released both the State of Australian Cities and State of Regional Australia reports concurrently to provide a nationwide view of Australia’s progress.”

Mr Truss said the release of the publications recognised the interrelated nature of cities and their surrounding regions.

“State of Australian Cities 2014-15 is an important tool for all levels of government in understanding where our cities are performing well and where there are opportunities for improvement,” he said.

“While there is no doubt our cities are vitally important for the nation’s prosperity they cannot be considered in isolation from their surrounding regions.

“The Progress in Australia’s Regions—State of Regional Australia 2015 report illustrates the different ways that regions change and takes into account aspects like population growth, economic wellbeing and social progress.

“This report shows that infrastructure continues to support the economies of regional Australian by promoting the efficient flow of people and resources while also providing regional Australians with access to essential services such as education and health.

“In December 2014, my Department released the Progress in Australian Regions—Yearbook 2014 to provide a statistical resource that can help answer the question of how regions are progressing against economic, social, environmental and governance indicators.

“This publication will enable governments, private investors and the community to identify trends that are important for policy development and investment decisions.

“The Government will continue to provide detailed analysis of the challenges facing the nation—inclusive of regional Australia.”

Mr Truss said the Australian Government had been investing widely in urban and regional infrastructure since being elected.

“Our commitment to delivering national prosperity begins with delivering the infrastructure Australia needs, and we have embarked on a nationwide programme of investment to achieve this end,” he said.

“Commitments such as the $8.5 billion upgrade of the Bruce Highway and the $1.6 billion Toowoomba Second Range Crossing—the largest commitment to a single regional road project in Queensland’s history—will support the continued movement of goods to domestic and international markets.

“Likewise, the Perth Freight Link will create a new world class freight connection between the Roe Highway and the Fremantle Port, and we are expecting a business case and delivery plan for the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project soon.

“The announcement of Badgerys Creek as the preferred site for Western Sydney’s airport is a significant commitment, and we are investing $2.9 billion towards key road upgrades to support the region through the $3.6 billion Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan.

“The $5 billion Asset Recycling Initiative is helping states build major urban public transport projects, such as the Second Harbour Rail Crossing in Sydney.

“When projects like these are combined with our other initiatives such as the Black Spot, Bridges Renewal and Roads to Recovery programmes—with Roads to Recovery receiving over $1.1 billion in extra funding in the past fortnight—Australia’s infrastructure future looks very promising indeed.”

The publications can be found online at: and

Australian Regional Development Conference (ARDC)
26 – 28 August 2015 | Albury, New South Wales

Conference sponsored by La Trobe University, The Regional Development Company, Vertel, EJ Australia, REMPLAN, .id the population experts and the Association for Sustainability in Business Inc.


Suzette Jackson to present on ‘Developing Localised Food Economies for Regional Cities’

Suzette Jackson, Director of Innate Ecology will present at the Australian Regional Development Conference will be held at the Commercial Club Albury on the 26– 27 August 2015.

Suzette Jackson

Suzette Jackson

Speaker Introduction: Suzette Jackson, Director of Innate Ecology, is a sustainability consultant, designer and researcher specializing in sustainable solutions, strategy and research across the multidisciplinary fields of architecture, urban ecologies, and food systems. Suzette has industry experience in sustainable communities and built environments across commercial, residential, governance and community sectors working in Australia and Asia. A key focus is in international frameworks and tools across sustainable cities, precinct and communities, with expertise in GreenStar Communities, One Planet Living and the Living Building Challenge.

Innate Ecology recently completed the Geelong Food Hub Feasibility Study working with Deakin University and the City of Greater Geelong. The study developed an understanding of the food system in the G21 region and a model for a regional food hub.

Presentation Title: Developing Localised Food Economies for Regional Cities
Co-Author: Dr John Rollo

Overview: In thirty-five years, in 2050, the world population is predicted to be reach between 9 and 9.5 billion people, up from 7.24 billion people in 2014. In 1804, just 208 years earlier there were only 1 billion people on earth. Population growth in the past 200 hundred years has been exponential, impacting our ability to feed world populations from the earths resources.

Today nearly 805 million people globally go hungry on a daily basis, while 1.5 billion people struggle with obesity. Yet the global community wastes one third of global food production or four times the amount of food required to feed the malnourished population and significant food supplies are used to feed livestock. The current global food system is unbalanced and not delivering food security for all people, in all regions. By 2050 there will be significantly more competition for quality nutritious food and food in general.

The impacts of global food issues on Australian regional cities are not always clear or well understood. This paper explores food system issues impacting regional communities today and into the future. The paper addresses food strategy development and current food distribution models, including Australian based approaches to food hub models and food hub feasibility studies.

The food system impacts a broad: food production practices impact regional water quality and quantity, soil, plant and animal health, while food distribution practices affect regional communities economic, and social wellbeing.

A regional approach to food production, processing, distribution and waste is fundamental to the resilience, health and wellbeing of a community and the regional economic, social and environmental wellbeing.

About the Conference:

The Australian Regional Development Conference is an initiative of the Association for Sustainability in Business Inc., a non-Government ‘not-for-profit’ organisation.

Themed Redefining the Future of Regional Australia, the Conference will explore the issues and opportunities facing Regional Australia today and into the future.

Sub themes for concurrent sessions

  • Sustainability / Renewables
  • Population Movements
  • Community Development
  • Government Policy
  • Innovation
  • Infrastructure
  • Cultural Tourism / Regional Tourism Development
  • Free Trade Agreements
  • Transport and Logistics
  • NBN / Broadband Communication
  • Banking / Finance

To view and/or download the Conference program, please click here.  For information on registration or to secure your reduced delegate rate (Early Bird rates close today) book your delegate pass, visit the website here.