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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.

READ MORE “Federal Budget 2018 Key Budget Areas”

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.

READ MORE “RCA welcomes fourth round of funding announced for Mobile Black Spot Program”

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.

READ MORE “No Population Threshold for City Deals”

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.

READ MORE “Interview with: the hon Michael McCormack”

RCA senate submission calls for a focus on growth and investment in regional capital cities

Regional Capitals Australia (RCA) recently presented a submission to the Standing Economics Reference Committee into the indicators of, and impact of, regional inequality in Australia.

The submission aimed to provide the Australian government with the basis for a proactive regional development investment and policy framework that will grow regional capital cities, whilst also addressing two of Australia’s challenges impacting the nation’s ability to achieve balanced economic and social outcomes:

  • the congestions in major metropolitan cities; and
  • the continuation of access to services and infrastructure in small rural towns.

READ MORE “RCA senate submission calls for a focus on growth and investment in regional capital cities”

RCA welcomes announcement of Regional Telecommunications Review

We welcome Senator Bridget McKenzie’s announcement of a regional telecommunications review that will examine the telecommunications services available in regional capitals, along with rural and remote areas.

The review will examine the affect and opportunities associated with rapidly evolving technologies on regional communications.

This is an important review, as regional capitals need to be connected to other regions and to the world.

The Committee will call for submissions shortly and will visit regional and rural areas later in the year for public consultation, with their report to government due  at the end of September 2018.

Chair’s op-ed: Infrastructure Priority List Confirms Big City Bias for a Big Australia 

The new Infrastructure Australia 2018 Priority List was released this month with $55 billion worth of ‘nation shaping’ projects.

Of these, 6 are listed as High Priority Projects, 6 are Priority Projects, 24 High Priority Initiatives, and 60 Priority Initiatives. 4 were for projects that will affect regional capital cities.

READ MORE “Chair’s op-ed: Infrastructure Priority List Confirms Big City Bias for a Big Australia “

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