Regional Capitals Australia has submitted its recommendations for the Government’s competitive process of the upcoming Regional City Deals program.
The submission was developed in conjunction with feedback from RCA members, and includes case studies on four RCA member cities: the City of Greater Geraldton, City of Ballarat and Cities of Albury-Wodonga.
RCA recommends that the Government approach the competitive process for its regional stream of City Deals by acknowledging the strategic importance of regional capitals in managing rapidly growing population and congestion in Australia.
If investment opportunities, such as City Deals, are created in regional capital cities, significant benefits for the national economy can be untapped, including easing Australia’s major metropolitan congestion crisis. RCA submitted a suite of recommendations for the government to adopt in its regional City Deals stream, including:
Recommendations at a Glance
1. Creation of a Regional Capitals City Deal tool kit
To highlight how RCA’s identified submission issues are treated in comparative analysis, and to enable strong applications from regional cities.
2. Clarity and flexibility around common City Deal domains for action
Guidelines should be clear about common domains for action a City Deal must contain, whilst ensuring a flexible approach so that City Deals are in fact bespoke measures to address an individual city’s needs.
3. Creation of a ‘complexity index’
A ‘complexity index’ of unique challenges will ensure City Deals stay true to their objective of address complex issues. A ‘like-for-like’ competitive process should assess councils of similar sizes and capacity.
4. Departmental analysis of Regional Capital Cities
Dedicated departmental resources allocated to map the liveability and connectivity of regional capital cities and the relationship between a regional capital and the region it serves.
5. RCA representation on the Cites Reference Group
To enable the unique views of our member cities to be represented.
6. Phased process for business case development
To level the playing field amongst cities and provide confidence of ROI for councils in spending tight resources.
7. Co-funded bids
Consideration be given to co-funding of bids between partners designed to ease the cost, internal resourcing and unknowns about applications.
8. Federal incentives for state government regional planning
Through various national policy units and strategies currently being developed.
RCA will be in Canberra on March 21 to further brief our stakeholders on our recommendations. Stay tuned for further progress updates.