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.
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.
With the right strategies regional communities can build their resilience, begin the low carbon transition while also adapting to climate change.
Increased professionalism and innovation on farm, more cooperation among farmers, a focused strategic role for government, and a clearer positive pitch to urban Australia will help farming win long term.
Only the optimists have the attitude necessary to ensure our communities see it through the tough times, becomes more capable of setting their own horizons, and creates a opportunities that well serve future generations of regional Queenslanders.
So how do we create the strategies to match our attitude?