Growing Regional Capitals Need Growing Investment

Ahead of the 2022 Federal Election Regional Capitals Australia is calling for growing investment to support growing regional communities.

Cr Daniel Moloney, Chair of Regional Capitals Australia said as the country moved toward COVID recovery, planning for a network of strong regional capitals is now a national imperative.

“This plan should make sure when both state and international borders fully open that new arrivals and those who are seeking to escape the major capitals can choose to make a regional capital city their home,” Cr Moloney said.

“We are all aware that regional capital city living is on the agenda, however for this trend to continue long term we have to ensure expectation meets with reality,” Cr Moloney stated.

According to the Infrastructure Australia, there has been a 200% increase of the growth to regional areas during the COVID-19 pandemic that has built demand on housing, services, and infrastructure.

“That is why Regional Capitals Australia is calling for investment into our member cities to deliver on our objective to make thriving urban centres with all the things – albeit on a smaller scale – that people will find in the major capitals,” Cr Moloney said.

Regional Capitals Australia through a pre-budget submission has called for the following investments:

  • Better rail connections: more funding towards business case development for regional rail projects and prioritisation of the delivery of these projects under the national rail program;
  • Better air connections: a regional aviation strategy to better connect regional cities to the nation ongoing funding for the regional airports fund;
  • More for arts and culture: a greater share of the national arts and culture funding to grow local talent and attract more shows and exhibitions to our cities and more funding to build quality facilities; and
  • City and Job building funds: more funding for the Building Better Regions Fund and Local Road and Community Infrastructure Fund and re-establish the Regional Growth Fund to allow our cities to grow sustainably and meet the demand for jobs.

Regional Capitals Australia has also called on the Government to use international immigration to solve skills shortages and enable more business investment into our cities through clear regional visa streams.

“Regional Capitals Australia knows our members can be part of the solution of a more productive, liveable and fair Australia,” Cr Moloney said.

“We just need the investment and the right policy settings to allow this to occur – and really isn’t more balance something we are all striving for?” Cr Moloney concluded.