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Regions’ Role in Nation’s Future Focus of New Report

06 February 2024

The release today of the Australian Government’s State of Australia’s Regions 2024 report highlights the important role regional Australia is playing in the nation’s future prosperity and development.

Regional Australia Institute (RAI) CEO Liz Ritchie said the new report crucially acknowledged that while regional Australia was undergoing a significant transformation, with strong gains in population and significant employment opportunities, further investment and support is needed.

“A significant societal transformation is underway in Australia. More people are choosing a life in the regions, and metropolitan to regional relocations remain almost 12% above the pre-COVID average. With all those additional people calling regional Australia home, we must now ensure that they are able to access the services they need to lead safe, productive, fulfilling lives and contribute to the nation’s success,” Ms Ritchie said.

“I applaud Ministers King and McBain for driving the reintroduction of this important report as it signifies, not only to regional residents, but the wider nation, that the regions are integral to the Australia of tomorrow.”

The State of Australia’s Regions report notes addressing issues like housing availability and affordability, access to early childhood education and care; and responding to the challenges and opportunities of the transition to net zero are of great importance.

Ms Ritchie said the same issues had been identified in the RAI’s 2022 released Regionalisation Ambition, a 10-year, 20-goal framework for an Australia where more people living in the regions.

“What is clear, is collaboration and co-operation is needed, not only by all three levels of government but also by industry, the not-for-profit sector, and communities themselves to ensure these challenges are resolved,” Ms Ritchie said.

“To fill the job vacancies available in our regional communities, we need to ensure that workers have somewhere to live. To build more houses in our regional communities, we need skilled tradespeople. To have more skilled tradespeople, we need to ensure our regions have the education facilities to deliver that training. We cannot look at these issues in isolation, they must be addressed holistically.”

The RAI, in partnership with the Real Estate Institute of Australia and Master Builders Australia will host in Canberra on Friday, the National Regional Housing Summit, to identify solutions to the region’s housing challenges.

The Summit will focus on home ownership; rental market trends and innovations; and social and affordable housing and homelessness in the regions.

For media enquiries contact:

Regional Australia Institute 
Melinda Hayter
Ph: 0498 373 300
E: [email protected]