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RCA analyses the final report from the Senate Committee on Regional Development and Decentralisation

The Select Committee on Regional Development and Decentralisation‘s final report, Regions at the Ready: Investing in Australia’s Future was handed down on the 28th of June this year.

The Select Committee, which was Chaired by the Nationals’ MP Damien Drum included representatives from all sides of politics, including Shadow Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government Mr Stephen Jones and the independent member for Indi, Ms Cathy McGowan AO. The Committee was tasked with reporting on the best practice approaches for the decentralisation of Commonwealth entities, regional development and corporate decentralisation.

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Interview with: Craig Doyle

After filling various CEO roles over the years working for some of the large private sector companies and Corporations in Australia, Craig Doyle decided to come home to Mackay to take on a CEO role of a different kind when he joined Mackay Regional Council. It is clear that Craig is passionate about improving the liveability of Mackay and ensuring that regional cities are heard and represented in national policy.

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Interview with: Senator Janet Rice

After completing her Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne it was clear that the environment was going to be at the heart of Janet Rice’s career. Senator Rice’s first role was as an environmental campaigner for the Conservation Council of Victoria and the East Gippsland Coalition, working for the Department of Water Resources and Bicycle Victoria. Senator Rice was also Mayor for the City of Maribyrnong in Melbourne from 2005-2006 before taking the leap into federal parliament.

READ MORE “Interview with: Senator Janet Rice”

Interview with: Mayor Cr Greg Williamson

After a successful term as alderman of Mackay City Council in the 1980s and overseeing the amalgamation of the city and shire councils, Mayor of Mackay Regional Council Cr Greg Williamson left to pursue a career in corporate business. This time serving on boards provided a wealth of skills and experience that Cr Williamson was able to use for the benefit of Mackay since returning to council in 2016.

READ MORE “Interview with: Mayor Cr Greg Williamson”

Federal Budget 2018 Key Budget Areas

Regional Capitals Australia welcomed the initiatives within the Federal Budget 2018.
The following is a summary of 2018/19 key budget investment areas.

The new initiatives included in the 2018/19 Budget were:

  • Five rural and regional medical schools: as part of an $83 million Strong Rural Health Strategy, the schools will be created as part of the workforce incentive programme, with all schools to be based in the broader Murray Darling region; and
  • Regional Universities: $96 million allocated to support additional student places in regional universities and regional study hubs.
  • The Roads of Strategic Importance: support features $3.5 billion in funding for road and rail projects, including the Coffs Harbour bypass and the Geelong rail line duplication.

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RCA welcomes fourth round of funding announced for Mobile Black Spot Program

We welcome Senator Bridget McKensie’s announcement of an additional $25 million allocated to the Mobile Black Spot Program.

The latest round of funding will be used to improve phone coverage in regional and rural communities, along transport routes and in popular seasonal tourism destinations.

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No Population Threshold for City Deals

A recent Senate Estimates inquiry into the Australian Government’s Smart Cities plan has confirmed the growing importance of regional capital cities like Tamworth, which are now eligible for a regional city deal.

The news came when Senators asked officials from the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities to verify the benefits of the Smart Cities Plan to regional Australia.

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Interview with: Mayor Cr Margaret O’Rourke

Here at Regional Capitals Australia HQ we decided it was time to reach out to our members and learn more about your regional capitals – your vision for your city, your infrastructure priorities and the challenges facing the region. Our first interview is with Councillor Margaret O’Rourke, Mayor of the City of Greater Bendigo.

Cr O’Rourke worked at Telstra for 31 years then started her own consultancy business in communications and economic development projects. Margaret was born and raised in Bendigo and has two daughters, one 12 and one just turned 16.  Cr O’Rourke currently serves as Deputy Director at the Bendigo Kangan Institute, Director of Goulburn Murray Water and Director of the Bendigo Health Care Group. READ MORE “Interview with: Mayor Cr Margaret O’Rourke”

Interview with: the hon Michael McCormack

With a federal election approaching, Regional Capitals Australia will be sitting down with relevant Ministers and Shadow Ministers to get their views on all things regions and regional capitals.

Our first interview for the year is with the hon Michael McCormack, Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Leader of The Nationals and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport and Member for Riverina, which includes the regional capital city of Wagga Wagga.

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