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Regional Aust: jobs, a better lifestyle and there is the opportunity to build a fresh start

The Regional Australia Institute (RAI) has officially launch the Regional Activators Alliance (RAA) – a new body designed to help create its National Awareness Campaign aimed at driving population to the regions.

RAI CEO Liz Ritchie says today marks a significant milestone in the Campaign to promote the opportunities to live, work and invest in Regional Australia.

“This Campaign is a once in a lifetime impact project that the RAI is incredibility honoured to be developing. Promoting Regional Australia is a shared responsibility, and RAA members will be at the forefront of this powerful national movement to change the narrative,” Ms Ritchie said.

“Today, I am delighted to welcome RAA members to the table, I know that their passion, insights and knowledge will be invaluable and they will help to amplify the Campaign reach.  In addition, they will also provide a direct connection to driving local campaigns in the regions – this is vital,” Liz Ritchie said.

The latest September job vacancy figures show a new record of more than 50,000 roles currently advertised in Regional Australia. The regional parts of some states have seen a 25 percent increase on this time last year, which was prior to COVID. This is in stark contrast with our mainland capitals which have reported a 27 percent decrease.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, officially launched the Regional Activators Alliance via Zoom at noon today.

“I have always said regional Australia is big enough in which to get a good cup of coffee, but small enough to care – and now is the time to make the move,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“There are jobs, there is a better lifestyle and there is the opportunity to build a fresh start – Regional Australia is the best place to live, work and raise a family,” the Deputy Prime Minister concluded.

RAA is made up of 36 representative organisations from across the country. These include local Councils, Regional Development Australia regions (RDAs), economic development groups and industry representatives.

“Regions need people to fill jobs, grow businesses, and invest in their communities. We know the COVID experience has changed the notion of how we work and this presents an incredible opportunity for us,” Ms Ritchie said.

The RAI is analysing population movement from our capital cities to the regions – a trend that has already been set over a decade as outlined in our Big Movers Report released earlier this year.

“We are seeing that many areas are reporting significant drops in regional rental vacancies figures, with some going below 1%,” Ms Ritchie said.

“Interest in Regional Australia is certainly significant at the moment and with the help of RAA, we will create a strong brand campaign to elevate the regions even further, “Liz Ritchie said.

The RAI announced that communications agency Redhanded has been selected to help develop the Campaign. It will gauge the sentiment of metropolitan Australians through qualitative research and will focus on the development, implementation, and evaluation of an integrated marketing communications campaign.

“The project has been backed by the Federal Government, with funding allocated in the 2020 Budget. We thank the Federal Government for supporting our vision,” Liz Ritchie said.

The National Awareness Campaign also has the support of the Regional Australia Council 2031 (RAC2031). All aspects of the project will focus on RAI evidence-based research relating to four key pillars: Jobs, Population, Liveability and Leadership.

“Regional Australia is ready to grow, and RAA will play a critical role in this transformation,” Liz Ritchie concluded.

The National Awareness Campaign will be launched in early 2021.

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