Regional Capitals Australia (RCA) has welcomed the announcement that Townsville – a regional capital city and RCA member – has been prioritised in Australia’s first-ever City Deal.
RCA Chair, Mayor Shane Van Styn said he was pleased that the role of regional capital cities has been recongised by the Coalition in announcing this first City Deal.
“We are also happy to see this announcement includes an acknowledgement that to grow strong regional capital cities, investment in liveability infrastructure is required,” Mayor Shane Van Styn said.
Part of this deal includes a $100 million investment as a proposed election commitment between the Coalition Government, Queensland Government and Townsville City Council towards the $250 million Townsville Stadium.
The ‘City Deal’ component aims to leverage the stadium and entertainment centre investment to revitalise the central business area and assist in the commercial and residential development of Townsville’s waterfront precinct.
Proposed plans include new public spaces and amenities, including pedestrian bridges and riverside bike and walking pathways linking to the CBD.
“The Coalition’s election commitment is an opportunity to boost productivity, attract jobs and build a stronger region for both those living in and around Townsville,” Van Styn added.
Townsville, one of 50 regional capital cities, provides access to jobs, professional services, education, healthcare, recreational facilities and culture to more than 193,000 residents and those in the surrounding area.
The Coalition’s City Deals is a new approach to developing cities and RCA has been advocating that regional capital cities are part of this new policy initiative.
“Regional capitals have a great, although underdeveloped, platform for growth, but their economic performance can’t be improved without a specific focus from government,” Van Styn pointed out.
RCA sees this commitment as a clear step in the right direction, however acknowledges that there are many other cities requiring this assistance. RCA has been calling on all parties to adopt a policy that sees regional capital cities as:
Connected with high-speed broadband, roads, rail, ports and airports; and
Liveable by providing local access to tertiary education, health, sporting facilities, arts and culture centres.
“Regional capital cities deserve a place in national policy that includes a strategic approach to funding and delivering on the specific service and physical infrastructure needs of each regional capital and their region,” says Van Styn.
“RCA encourages all parties to commit to growing regional Australia and focus on long-term infrastructure planning that will increase productivity in our regions.”
Regional Capitals Australia Secretariat – Rachael Sweeney
P: 03 9614 7302 – 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://www.regionalcapitalsaustralia.org/.