Decline on the cards for small towns

2113002

(via The Land)

AN ambitious goal of 40,000 new jobs for regional NSW is at the core of the Coalition’s Regional Kick Start plan, but what’s happening behind the headlines?

According to the latest labour force data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) jobs growth in regional NSW has been static for the last three years.

There were 1190 jobs in regional NSW at the start of 2011, the same as the most recent figure recorded in December 2014 but unemployment had increased by 16,000 to 90,000.

Regional growth is now more pressing than ever, with widespread decline predicted by the NSW Department of Planning across much of NSW from 2011 to 2031 (see graphic).

However, NSW Deputy Premier and Nationals leader Troy Grant said despite the negative data from the ABS, the Coalition had actually met its target.

“More than 39,000 jobs have been created outside Sydney since 2011,” he said.

“While employment statistics provide a measure of past economic activity, job vacancies indicate future economic performance.

“The latest job vacancy figures for regional NSW are very encouraging, showing a 6.9 per cent increase in internet job vacancies from November 2013 to November 2014.”

Opposition regional affairs spokesman Mick Veitch said the latest labour force figures disproved the claim.

“The ABS has belled the cat and exposed their broken promise,” he said, “if ever there was a policy whacked together on the back of an envelope it was the Decade of Decentralisation.”

The Land has campaigned for more than a year on the need to boost investment in regional infrastructure, including bridges, roads, freight rail, hospitals and small towns…

Read more by Mike Foley, The Land 12 February 2015

Placemaking – both a process and a philosophy for regional towns

Placemaking is a multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces.

Placemaking uses a towns existing and build assets to make public spaces that people want to connect with and use.

What are the challenges for Regional Towns placemaking?

How are you transforming public spaces?  Whether your project is a regional town renewal or small town heritage refurbishment what principles of placemaking were taken into consideration. As placemaking is a multi-faceted approach it involves a whole range of professionals and stakeholders from a range of disciplines. Whether the organisation is a private or public sector organisation these projects could involve   architects, planners, designers, landscapers, sport and recreation consultants, community enagement, engineers, consultancies, service organisations and academic or research institutions interested in placemaking. You may be creating plazas, parks, streets, riverfronts, waterfronts that you aim to attract people because they are fun and interesting.

We are interested in hearing how you transforming public spaces in regional and rural areas a the Australian Regional Development Conference.

Regional Development Australia: The Conference will feature discussions a stream on planning and building. It will be held in Albury NSW on the 15 – 16 October 2014 with a focus on the broad issues of economic, planning, environment and community development.

Call for papers – rural and regional placemaking: would you like to speak at this 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.

Australian Regional Development Conference

RDA Conference15-16 October 2014, The Commercial Club Albury Secretariat: (T) 61 7 5502 2068 (F) 07 5527 3298 Email: secretariat@regionaldevelopment.org.au URL: www.regionaldevelopment.org.au

 

Peri-Urban: rural towns and planning strategy

Rural towns next in the sights of planning strategy   Care needs to be taken when looking to peri-urban areas for sustaining growth.

Rural towns. Towns like Ballan, Broadford, Kilmore and Wonthaggi have been targeted in the new metro plan for accelerated growth.

Communities in Melbourne’s peri-urban area have awoken to find that the state government sees them as part of the answer to accommodating the city’s burgeoning population.

Peri-urban areas are that conflicting mix of agriculture, forests, quaint rural towns, low-density sprawl and, recently, bushfire-prone areas, fanning out for about 100 kilometres from Melbourne. They are already facing issues such as biosecurity, loss of agricultural land and tourism proposals.

Towns like Ballan, Broadford, Kilmore and Wonthaggi have been targeted in the new metro plan for accelerated growth. It has led to substantial new residential development. However, it’s nothing like the increase in the numbers of new residents in the Melbourne growth corridors. But times are changing.

Listing towns for consideration for accelerated development and designating regional cities such as Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong to accommodate more growth is now firmly on the agenda. This is a far better approach than the predecessor Melbourne 2030, which raised expectations with vague references to the role of regional cities and their transport corridors.

Local councils will be concerned at their and the state government’s capacity to keep up with the demands for new facilities and services in the peri-urban. Communities will be looking for local jobs to accompany the growth.

Melbourne relies on its peri-urban area for much of its fresh food.

The peri-urban areas also play critical roles for water supply. And of course these areas have proven to be some of the most vulnerable in terms of bushfires. There will be many questioning development in these places if there is a prospect of greater loss of life from wildfire.

The peri-urban has been largely overshadowed by the growth of metropolitan areas for years. But it appears its time has come. Its future, and that of the next generation of residents, is in the balance.

Trevor Budge

Trevor Budge AO

Trevor Budge AM

Trevor Budge is an associate professor and heads the community planning and development program at La Trobe’s Bendigo campus. He is a former president of the Victorian division of the Planning Institute of Australia.

 

 

Read more: The Age, October 11, 2013, Trevor Budge

Trevor Budge will be a keynote speaker at the Regional Development  Conference. It will be held in Albury NSW on the 15 – 16 October 2014 with a focus on the broad issues of economic, planning, environment and community development.

Call for papers

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.

Australian Regional Development Conference

RDA Conference15-16 October 2014, The Commercial Club Albury
Secretariat (T) 61 7 5502 2068 (F) 07 5527 3298
Email: secretariat@regionaldevelopment.org.au URL: www.regionaldevelopment.org.au