Regional Capitals Australia Urges COAG to Focus on Boosting Regional Population

Regional Capitals Australia (RCA) has called on the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to remain focused on regional growth ahead of a new National Population and Planning Framework set to be tabled later this year.

The call comes after the Federal Government released its updated policy, “Planning for Australia’s Future Population” which will see 23,000 skilled migrants call regional Australia home over the next three years.

While Regional Capitals Australia Chair, Cr Samantha McIntosh welcomed the plan she’s urged all States to work with the Federal Government and use the framework to ensure regional capital cities continue to grow.

“All States and the Commonwealth have discussed population planning as a means of dealing with Australia’s growth problems, however the risk is that the work of the COAG will be more focused on dealing with metropolitan and urban congestion, rather than the needs of regional Australia.”

“Right now we know there are around 60,000 job vacancies in regional Australia and we need that void filled fast. Furthermore, research from the Regional Australia Institute has found one of the main drivers for economic growth in country cities is migration.”

“We are calling on COAG members to make sure they deliver growth where it is needed the most – in Australia’s regional capital cities”.

“All of our member cities such as Ballarat, Busselton, Karratha, Rockhampton, Wagga Wagga, Tamworth, Horsham and several others have a growth agenda and this policy will allow those cities who are crying out for skilled workers to have their skills shortages met,” Cr McIntosh said.

“With more than 300,000 businesses across the continent, regional Australia injects $225 billion to the national economy which equates to around 20 per-cent of the national share. Getting population planning right must be the absolute priority for our nation,” Cr McIntosh added.

The COAG meeting for the Population Framework is set to be tabled in December.



Angela Scicluna, Regional Capitals Australia Secretariat

P: 03 8658 5715

M: 0434 274 457



About Regional Capitals Australia

Regional Capitals Australia (RCA) is a national alliance of local government councilsacross the nation representing Australia’s regionalcities. RCA’s mission is to provide a recognizedplatform to champion the strategic importance and sustainabledevelopment of regionalcapitals around the nation. To learn more about our work, visit


Available for Interview

Cr Samantha McIntosh – Chair, Regional Capitals Australia