PIA support Parliamentary committee's call for increased rural and regional investment

PIA support Parliamentary committee's call for increased rural and regional investment
PIA support Parliamentary committee's call for increased rural and regional investment

A regional development inquiry has found another reason for a national settlement strategy.

The Planning Institute Australia (PIA) has welcomed a Parliamentary Select Committee’s call for greater investment in Australia’s rural and regional towns, citing their report, “Regions at the Ready: Investing in Australia’s Future”, as further clear evidence of the need for an integrated national settlement strategy.

After the Select Committee on Regional Development and Decentralisation report published its findings last week, Chief Policy Officer Rolf Fenner acknowledged PIA had consistently called for the Commonwealth to acknowledge the wider implications of its policy actions and investment decisions and to better promote regional development.

PIA believes that governments need to adequately fund research into the drivers of population change and settlement patterns in regional areas to understand to a greater degree the effects of it's policy actions.

As well as tp empower local communities to promote sustainable development and a better quality of life through integrated land use policies or spatial planning.

In its submission to the House of Representatives inquiry into the Australian Government’s role in the Development of Cities in 2017, PIA repeated its call for a "clear spatial planning framework" to guide and promote regional development and "guard against growing inequality between city and country Australia".

Mr Fenner said efforts to counter regional inequality needed to go beyond the traditional emphasis on direct tax/transfer redistribution and 'pork-barreling' grant programs.

Instead they should focus more on geographically appropriate and targeted investments.

These include infrastructure provision, training and job creation activities, and strategic Urban and regional planning frameworks endorsed by all levels of government.

“It’s pleasing the inquiry grasps what PIA has long understood, namely that our rural and regional communities must be great places to live and work if Australia is to continue to prosper as a nation,” Mr Fenner said.

“The liveability or amenity of a city, town or community is essentially how it feels and looks: the choice, quality and location of buildings, the parks, streetscapes, and the access to shops, schools, and recreational facilities,” Mr Fenner said.

“If we fail to invest in amenity, we will also fail to entice people to live or invest in regional Australia,” he concluded.

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Regional Planning Pia

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