Governments come together to support new regional policy research program

The Regional Australia Institute (RAI) has today unveiled its new independent policy research program for regional Australia - backed by all State and Territory Governments with regional responsibilities.

RAI CEO, Jack Archer, has welcomed the new agreement and says this new program of work shows a willingness from governments to work together on issues affecting the future of regional Australia.

“Governments have collectively come to the table with the RAI to share ideas and invest in better knowledge for regions through a new Shared Inquiry Program,” Jack Archer said.

“This new collaboration is a really smart way to make progress on the common regional development issues we face around Australia,” Mr Archer said.

In 2018, the Shared Inquiry Program includes major projects on:

  • Regions in Transition – To develop a new evidence base for governments to use in helping communities experiencing major economic change such as industrial closures.

  • The Future of Regional Jobs - To analyse job changes resulting from automation at the regional level and identify innovative approaches to education, workforce and employment strategies for regions.

  • Regional Towns and Cities – To evaluate the economic case for increased regional settlement in Australia through small city population growth and reduced urban sprawl in our major cities.

“These issues – handling economic change, making sure jobs are there for regional people and balancing urban and regional population growth – are the biggest issues facing our regions,” Mr Archer said.

“If we make progress here then there are substantial benefits ahead for communities across Australia,” Mr Archer said.

The three major projects will be supported by smaller projects on government procurement, migration and the prospects for growth in manufacturing, agribusiness and tourism in regions across Australia.

Since its establishment with seed funding from the Australian Government in 2012, the RAI has provided independent research for decision makers in regional Australia and promoted an active and informed public debate on regional issues.

“Our Shared Inquiry Program which is backed by governments will take the contribution of the RAI to regional issues to the next level. We look forward to input from regional leaders around Australia to get new policy options on the table,” Mr Archer said.

For more information about the Shared Inquiry Program, go to the RAI website

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