The Regional Australia Institute (RAI) CEO Liz Ritchie will launch the national Regionalisation Roadshow in Stawell this week – helping local leaders of Northern Grampians tackle the issues holding their country towns back.
The Regionalisation Roadshow will head around the country in 2023 and visit every State and Territory.
As a member of the RAI, the Northern Grampians offered to host and be the first location in regional Australia to ignite a place-based lens on the framework – focussing on areas including job vacancies, education, and housing.
“Regionalisation is often mis-understood, it’s not only encouraging movement to the regions, it’s about so much more than that. It’s the process of reaching our potential, of strengthening regional Australia to ensure its firing on all cylinders,” Liz Ritchie said.
“It’s about making sure regional towns have the infrastructure, services, investment and population needed to thrive and grow – ensuring every Australian, no matter their location, has the opportunity to help drive national prosperity.
In September 2022, the RAI launched the Regionalisation Ambition 2032 – a 10-year framework that focusses on the key areas most critical to strengthening regional Australia.
“The Ambition set 20 key targets we are striving to reach by 2032, which includes bolstering our regional workforce and housing stock, improving the performance of country kids in the classroom, and future-proofing communities against drought and fires,” Liz Ritchie.
“This week’s workshop in Stawell will allow locals to craft their own plan for growth within their community, based on both individual and collective actions,” Liz Ritchie said.
To better position the regional economy to reach its potential the RAI says collective action is needed from government, industry and communities.
“Last week, we launched the National Alliance for Regionalisation in Canberra, bringing together 32 CEOs from some of the country’s most influential peak bodies. Through the collective lens of this group, it will work to advocate for the policy priorities needed in regions at a national level.
“Our first Regionalisation workshop in Stawell takes the Ambition to the local level, and I look forward to working with leaders on the issues most pressing in the Wimmera and Northern Grampians area,” Liz Ritchie said.
Chris Sounness, CEO of the Wimmera Development Association, has welcomed the workshop to further the Wimmera’s own pledged actions for the region.
“We have pledged to grow the Wimmera Southern Mallee's population by 7,000 people over the next 10 years. We have our plan to achieve this, but in the spirit of the Ambition, we know we will need to collaborate with the Wimmera communities to help us get there,” Mr Sounness concluded.
The RAI’s ambition is to ‘rebalance the nation’ and have 11 million people living prosperously in the regions by 2032.
“We are calling on organisations to get involved, and like Wimmera Development Association, show how they can contribute to the rebalancing of the nation, by pledging,” Liz Ritchie said.
Already more than 50 pledges have been received from some of Australia’s largest companies, such as NBN, Telstra, Woolworths and Elders. Pledges can be made via www.rebalancethenation.com.au.
The RAI will hold the second Regionalisation Roadshow event in Chinchilla, Queensland, on Tuesday 9 May. For a copy of the Regionalisation Ambition, please click here.
|| Regionalisation Roadshow - Stawell
|| Wednesday 29 March 2023
|| 9:00am - 4:00pm
|| North Park Community Sports Centre, Stawell
This event is co-hosted with the Wimmera Development Association and the Northern Grampians Shire Council.
Media are invited to attend between 9am-12noon.
For media enquiries contact:
Regional Australia Institute
Ph: 0429 142 232
E: [email protected]