Regional Australia Institute Regions Rising Conference

Launch of “Move to More” Campaign

A strong CQ contingency amongst 300 delegates attended last week’s Regions Rising Conference in Canberra, hosted by the Regional Australia Institute.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack officially launched the $5M two year national “Move to More” campaign which intends to attract both skilled and un-skilled workers from the cities to the regions.

Once final tweaks to the website are complete, from the 4th April, tv commercials will be beamed across the country, billboards in cities, digital and social media will go live.

Strengthening Liveability toolkit was also launched for rural and regional communities looking to grow.

9 million people live in Regional Australia, out of a national population of 25.5 million.

Yet at Federation, one third lived in the cities, then by mid-century 40% lived in the cities, now two thirds of the national population live in the cities.

Key note speakers re-enforced that we must learn from the past to re-invent the future, with a national population of 45 Million predicted by 2050.

The Move to More campaign promotes more jobs, more time, more space (and less stress, less debt, less congestion), but a campaign is just part of the equation.

Government at all levels must provide Leadership in ensuring that national, state and local policy supports regional Australia.

RAI CEO Liz Ritchie summed it up by stating that with a Bold Vision, the Courage to Change, and Collaboration can ensure we can “work where we Live, and Live where we Love”.

Senior Strategist, CivicActions John O’Duinn beamed in from San Francisco and rightly stated this is a “Leadership not a Technology Challenge” – our Policy makers need to incentivize People, not Corporations.

He spoke about Distributed Economic Development which is cheaper, faster and better than Traditional Economic Development.

Other speakers supported the view that de-centralisation needs policy investment, payroll tax relief and relocation packages.

With 31 regional cities (over 50,000 people), 182 mid size towns, 1500 small towns in Australia, regional, rural and remote communities must be supported.

Covid-19 has proven that the advantages of technology has been elevated in regional, rural and remote communities – support and growth for regional Australia is “now or never”

Gavin Williams from NBN Co reported that of the $2.9 billion being spent over the next three years, half is outside of the capital cities.  NBN Co is co-investing $300M with local governments and $200M per year in fixed wireless networks.

Sessions during the conference included:

  • Regional Population and Infrastructure
  • Regional Policy and Collaboration
  • Future Proofing Employment
  • Digital Age: Education, Health and Tourism
  • Liveability Factors

Grace Brennan, Founder of Buy From the Bush was an exceptional key note speaker at the Gala dinner.

Capricorn Enterprise is a Member of the RAI Regional Activators Alliance, along with Central Highlands Development Corporation and Rockhampton Regional Council.

Regional Development Australia Central Western Queensland is a key link between the Federal government and it’s national regional agenda roll-out.

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