Media Release: Regional solutions to dire metro population growth warnings

Central West Orana Regional PlanDecentralisation and policies focussing on jobs and infrastructure for regional areas must form a significant part of the national strategy to combat the dire consequences of the unprecedented population growth in metropolitan cities over the next 30 years, says Regional Development Australia Central West Acting Chair, Reg Kidd.

In a major report released today, Infrastructure Australia claims that unless all levels of ­government address “unplanned growth”, the major cities’ global liveability ranking will begin to fall, with poorer access to jobs, schools, housing, and green space.

The Australian Infrastructure Plan that preceded this report stated that opportunity exists to ease the pressure on our larger cities by growing the populations of the smaller ones. However, the report release today does not address policy interventions to incentivise decentralisation of population growth away from our larger cities.

Reg Kidd says decentralisation and regional development must be included as significant part of the solution to projected metropolitan population growth.

“Careful and considered relocation of government bodies to regional areas results in significant economic growth and stronger regional communities,” said Mr Kidd.

“Here in Central West NSW, we have a proven track record of successful relocation,” said Mr Kidd.  ‘The Central Mapping Authority moved to Bathurst over 40 years ago, the Department of Primary Industries to Orange twenty-five years ago, and the RTA (now RMA) established its Western Region Headquarters in Parkes twenty-seven years ago. All these relocations have been beneficial to the region and the agency.”

Strategic decentralisation not only benefits regional communities, but also provides new opportunities for the government bodies to create greater synergies and better partnerships, and leverage regionally based expertise.

Media Contact: Julia Andrews, Executive Director, RDA Central West, 0448 288 698

About Regional Development Australia – Central West

RDA Central West is part of a national network of 55 locally managed, not -for-profit incorporated associations responsible for regional economic development and is jointly funded by the Australian and NSW Governments. Our region extends from Lithgow in the east to Lake Cargelligo in the west and comprises the local government areas of Lithgow, Oberon, Bathurst, Blayney, Orange, Cabonne, Cowra, Parkes, Forbes, Weddin and Lachlan.