Business Council calls for 10 regional cities to get special status to stimulate the economy

Business Council calls for 10 regional cities to get special status to stimulate the economy
Business Council calls for 10 regional cities to get special status to stimulate the economy

The Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott says the federal government needs a plan to kick-start 10 regional economies.

Westacott outlined criteria to identify places around Australia that can make the greatest economic contribution.

"We need to pick ten places, sit down with those communities, and get the ball rolling," she says.

The locations would have access to gateway infrastructure like an airport or major transport routes and be home to one of two existing successful industries.

Other criteria include:

* Strategic importance like Darwin and Cairns

* Close to major power grids

* A university and TAFE

* Quality health services to support expanding population

* Capacity to increase the supply of housing and industrial land

* Appetite to take pressure and congestions off major cities.

"We cannot spend twelve months arguing about which places should be chosen. Using my criteria, the places select themselves," Ms Westacott will say in a speech to the National press Club today.

"Not every place can be selected, and we cannot make decisions based on electoral politics. Let's just get on with it."

Westacott also called for agriculture, water policy and drought strategy to no longer be viewed in isolation.

She wants the CSIRO and federal government to jointly prepare a white paper to examine water infrastructure, cropping cycles and resilience, water storage and regulation, and carbon farming.

 

Tags: 
Regional Cities Business Council

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