Australian Regional Development Conference

Regional Development in a Changing World

Regional and remote communities know what they need, collaboration is key… doing what we have always done will not generate different results.   According to the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development approximately two thirds of the nation’s export earnings derive from industries in the regional areas, including agriculture, tourism, retail, services and manufacturing (2016).  Therefore it can be acknowledged that the sustainability and future of Australia is reliant on the development of regional areas.

The 4th Australian Regional Development Conference will be held at Novotel Coffs Harbour Pacific Bay Resort from Monday 11 – Tuesday 12 September 2017. This conference will focus on issues surrounding the Economy, Planning, Environment and Community Development while considering the “State of the Regions Report” which called for support of regional economic development through diverse infrastructure investments determined by regional priorities in partnership with Local Government.  It has been recognized that without the implementation of this approach, there will be significant costs on the national economy, as it will limit the growth of rural, regional and metropolitan areas.

“We aim to advance economic and social outcomes, examine regional inequality and provide a pathway to discuss the challenges, opportunities and future of Regional Australia.” said Conference Chair, Tony McBurney.


The Program will address;

  • Economic Development Opportunities for Business and Job Creation
  • Social Inclusion issues of Unemployment; Education Completion Rates, Health Delivery and Community Development
  • Planning and Building Challenges of Land Use Application, Refurbishment and Renewal in a Regional Setting
  • Sustainability and Liveable Communities Principles
  • How to meet Challenging and Uncertain times; Climate Change, Population Shifts, Natural Disasters, Droughts, Commodity Price Fluctuations and Agriculture Adjustments
  • Infrastructure Challenges: Freight to Distribute Products from Regional Australia to Urban and Overseas Export Markets

There will be an extensive range of topics with over 50 Featured and Expert Presenters, Concurrent Sessions, Case Studies, Workshops and Poster Presentations.

Confirmed Keynotes

  • Mr Jack Archer, CEO, Regional Australia Institute
  • Cr Col Murray, Deputy Chair, Regional Capitals Australia & Mayor, Tamworth Regional Council
  • Ms Suzette Jackson, Executive Director, Bioregional Australia
  • Ms Melina Morrison, CEO, Business Council of Cooperatives and Mutuals
  • Professor Wendy Umberger, Executive Director, Centre for Global Food & Resources (GFAR), University of Adelaide

Invited Keynotes

  • Mr John Rolfe, Professor of Regional Economic Development, School of Business and Law, CQ University,  Rockhampton
  • Minister John Barilo, Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional NSW, Minister for Skills, Minister for Small Business, NSW Government
  • Ms Alexandra Gartmann, CEO & Managing Director, Rural Bank
  • Dr Anthony (Tony) Marxsen, Chairman – Board, Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)

Topics will include but not be limited to;

  • Engagement and innovation
  • Natural resource management including water management
  • Planning and building with focus on small inland town, regional cities and coastal developments
  • Food and agriculture
  • Tourism and events
  • Renewable energy and energy supply
  • Economic development of major regional industries including agriculture and mining
  • Community service delivery with a focus on health, housing access, aged care and medical services
  • Employment – job creation, skilled migration and unemployment
  • Education and training – regional universities and vocational training
  • Government – policy, funding and evaluation
  • Infrastructure and transport – road freight, rail, shipping and ports, regional airports/airlines
  • Digital – broadband technology
  • Banking and Finance

Innovation Awards

In 2017, the conference will include an Awards presentation for innovation in Economic Development; Planning and Building; Environment and Sustainability; Community Development; and Leadership. Applications for entry are open now.

Delegate Opportunities

All delegates will have the opportunity to film a 3 minute dialogue which will be broadcast from the venue on multiple social media platforms. They will also have exclusive access to the full program podcast collection after the event.

Who Should Attend?

This Conference is designed for individuals and representatives from organisations with an academic, business or professional interest in regional development. It will appeal in particular to:

  • Federal Government inter-agency representatives
  • State Government representatives
  • Local Government representatives including CEO, General Managers, Mayors and Elected Officials
  • Economic and Community Development Managers and Groups
  • Sustainability and Environment Groups
  • Organisations representing indigenous affairs
  • Town Planners, Architects, Builders, Project Managers and Engineers
  • Chamber of Commerce, RDA and Economic Development Groups
  • Banking, Finance and others interested in Economic Development
  • Academics and Researchers, Education Bodies
  • Local Business Owners and Managers
  • Resource Sector, Tourism Operators and Agricultural bodies

Comments are closed