A prosperous and thriving future for regional Australians will depend on how imaginatively we exploit opportunity and manage the risks that come with change. It will depend on the choices communities make.
Queensland should rethink its big projects for a big country approach. Regional jobs that depend on project investment without generating local income are not sustainable. Small business and community must be restored to centre stage in development strategy.
Can we improve the health care system for regional Australians to be more patient-centric and personalised, so that it delivers great health care inclusively, appropriately and efficiently? What can be done to make regional health care in reality more regional?
Forced decentralisation of government agencies out of Canberra is unlikely to be a viable strategy for regional development. Stronger long term partnerships between the Commonwealth and the regions is a better alternative.
A study by the Productivity Commission into “the geographic impacts of the transition of the Australian economy following the resources investment boom” is highly relevant to a raft of policy agenda shaping the future of our regions.
How to double an already significant urban population of 3.4 million and not turn a region renowned for its mix of amenity and lifestyle qualities into a massive commuter grid-lock is the challenge faced by the South-East Queensland Regional Plan.
Most of all we need leaders and teachers who are going to help young people believe that their goals are achievable and that education, creativity and hard work will pay off
The challenges facing regional Australia are varied and great, necessitating all the investment we can draw upon them – but above all else, we will only build the resilient regions about which we speak, if we creatively weave the dreaming, and enterprise, the personal commitment and responsibility with civic value and government, the engineer and the scientist with the artist and the farmer, the people and the planet – into one integrated proposition that will sustain our respective regions into the future.