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New survey to canvass regional, rural & remote councils on what they need to be sustainable 

10 April 2024

Regional local governments are urged to take a new survey by the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) in response to the Federal Government’s Inquiry into the sustainability of regional, rural, and remote councils.

The results of the survey will inform the RAI’s submission to probe and advance calls for measures to strengthen local government areas’ sustainability in the face of increasing pressures.
The House of Representatives Standing Committee Inquiry will look at the funding frameworks for local government with a focus on councils’ changing infrastructure requirements, service delivery obligations, and workforce shortages.
RAI Chief Executive Liz Ritchie has welcomed the Inquiry and its focus on regional local government areas.
“Regional, rural and remote councils play a fundamental role in supporting the development, prosperity, and liveability of our regional communities,” Ms Ritchie said.  
“They not only work in collaboration with state and federal governments, but also with the people who call the regions home, providing a vital link between residents and decision-makers.
“More and more, regional, rural, and remote councils are operating under constrained budgets and feel as if they are having to do more with less, with limited means to improve their bottom lines.
“Regional local governments are on the frontline of the nation’s transition to a low-carbon economy, with the lion’s share of renewable energy projects based outside metropolitan Australia. These developments represent both opportunities and challenges for communities.”
Ms Ritchie said as the nation’s only independent think-tank focused on regional issues, the RAI sought to garner the experiences and ideas of local government areas across regional Australia, to advise the Institute’s submission.
“Local governments are the heart and soul of regional communities and bear disproportionate responsibility in determining the overall liveability and economic prosperity of regional Australia,” Ms Ritchie said. 
“Indeed, the success of the regionally led - Regionalisation Ambition 2032 – a 10-year plan underpinned by 20 targets, to ‘rebalance the nation’, depends on strong sustainable local government. I encourage LGAs to share their experiences and thoughts through this survey, in the interests of creating a more certain, more sustainable future for regional councils.
Take the RAI’s survey here

For media enquiries contact:

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