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Regional Economic Development

Regional Australia contributes one third of our national output and is home to 8.8 million Australians.

Regions provide employment for one in three working Australians.

You need to understand the links between the regional centres and their hinterlands, identify the factors that promote or inhibit growth, and improve the connections between competitive firms, workers, industries, and clusters.

Regions contain a range of economic activities, with pockets of growth and decline. Heavily reliant on government support, Australia’s regional futures are dependent on stronger industry linkages and diversification, along with workforce developments that match local employment and lifestyle aspirations.

Many regional economies struggle with rapid growth brought about by mining and extractive industries; fly-in-fly-out workers bring skills and incomes, but these cannot always be sustained. Meanwhile, local workers and firms are regularly overlooked.

While regional economic growth often focuses on infrastructure and government services, it also requires a consistent commitment to improving local firm and industry capabilities, investments into skills and education and the protection of environmental assets.

If you are a part of an indigenous community in the region, you share a historical commitment to region that places you at the centre of its economic and social development.

Tools and resources

Some of the common tools and guidance required by regional economies include:

  • Assess your region’s global competitiveness
  • Assess regional centre growth opportunities
  • Create platforms for regular public-private dialogue
  • Support your local town teams
  • Assess regional infrastructure capacities
  • Promote participation and citizen engagement
  • Identify regional industry agglomerations
  • Identify your strategic competencies
  • Strengthen links between regional centres and the hinterland
  • Promote collaboration across public, private and civic organisations
  • Improve regional labour market and job linking capacities
  • Measure the inward and outward investment and purchasing flows
  • Adopt progressive procurement processes
  • Supporting Aboriginal economic empowerment