Regional Capitals Australia (RCA) Chair, Mayor Shane Van Styn today welcomed the release of the Australian Government’s National Cities Performance Framework Interim Report – which aims to measure the performance of Australia’s largest cities, including 16 in regional Australia.
The interim report is a first look at how the government is thinking about tracking the performance of cities across areas like congestion, employment, housing affordability, liveability, and sustainability.
Mayor Van Styn said that as Australia’s productivity continues to be challenged by growing congestion costs and jobs losses through a transitioning economy, getting regional cities right should be at top of the Government’s agenda.
“Regional cities have so many competitive advantages – affordable housing, access to quality health and education, a relaxed lifestyle, strong jobs offering in the service sectors, and importantly, land to grow,” he said
“It is our expectation that through this framework RCA members like Albury – Wodonga, Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Launceston, Mackay, and Toowoomba will continue to be shown as not only the best places to live but excellent choices for businesses to make their next investment,” Mayor Van Styn said.
Mayor Van Styn, however, noted that not all Australian cities were included in the interim report.
“While it is great to see so many of our member cities are included in the report, they also happen to be the largest – Australia has more than 16 regional cities,” Mayor Van Styn reasoned.
“Prioritising the development of cities based only on the number of people who live in them is out of step with the growing understanding that cities of all sizes are valuable,” he said.
A recent report released by the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) challenged the view that the size of a city is the only indicator of economic and social contribution to the nation.
The report highlighted that getting the planning right around regional cities in Australia had the potential to add $375 billion per year to the nation’s bottom line by 2031.
“With the crushing congestion, a daily feature in the lives for those living and doing business in metropolitan capitals cities – promoting the competitive advantage of all regional cities should be a no brainer.
It is RCA’s position that measuring the performance of all regional cities will assist the Government across portfolios especially in the regional development portfolio. This aim would have an immediate benefit in highlighting which regional cities are the best fit for public and corporate sector decentralisation.
“In my role on the Government’s Cities Reference Group, I will continue to highlight the benefits of this framework, while also making the case to widen the scope of this interim report,” Mayor Van Styn added.
“It is my belief that RCA and the Government have the same objectives and that is to ensure Australia grows sustainably and this growth adds to the prosperity of our country, rather than detracts from it.”
“Regional cities of all sizes are part of the solution towards this clear goal,” Mayor Van Styn concluded. –
Rachael Sweeney, Regional Capitals Australia Secretariat
P: 03 9666 3368
M: 0422 067 858
About Regional Capitals Australia
Regional Capitals Australia (RCA) is a national alliance of local government councils across the nation representing Australia’s regional cities. RCA’s mission is to provide a recognised platform to champion the strategic importance and sustainable development of regional capitals around the nation. To learn more about our work visit http://regionalcapitalsaustralia.org.
Available for Interview
Mayor Shane Van Styn – Chair, Regional Capitals Australia