Business and tertiary sector representatives have joined forces with the Australian Government at this week’s Decentralisation Summits to untap country Australia’s economic potential.
The Decentralisation Summits, initiated and hosted by the Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education, Andrew Gee, mark the start of the national conversation on decentralisation.
“As Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education, and as a country MP, my focus is on turbo charging our regions and creating regional jobs – decentralisation has a key role to play,” Minister Gee said.
“These Summits are an important step in developing a revitalised decentralisation strategy, with greater synergy between business, the tertiary education sector and Government.
“We know that historically, the Government has focused its decentralisation agenda on moving Australian public service jobs to the regions.
“This is important, but by broadening our focus to incorporate business and the education sector, we can add a lot more firepower to policy making and unlock a whole lot more investment for country Australia.
“The 2020-21 Budget saw positive movement in this space, with $41 million invested in a decentralisation research and development policy package that requires businesses to relocate to the regions.
“We know that more regional jobs mean more growth and prosperity for country communities and more dollars in the pockets of regional Australians, which is why our work on elevating the decentralisation agenda doesn’t just stop here.
“With the next budget just around the corner, it is essential that we continue to develop and expand targeted decentralisation measures to attract the corporate and education sector to country Australia.
“The Decentralisation Summits provided key sector representatives a unique opportunity to feed into the Government’s decentralisation priorities.
“There is enormous value in partnering with business and the tertiary education sector to develop strategic priorities. These sectors have a wealth of expertise, skill and passion that we need to be tapping into.
“And that is exactly what we are doing to develop our revitalised decentralisation agenda which will drive closer collaboration between business and the tertiary sector at a regional level to grow jobs, investment and the regional economy.
“By collaborating with key stakeholders, we will bring forward a sustainable, long-term decentralisation strategy that will encourage businesses, academics and individuals to relocate to the country for generations to come.
“The Decentralisation Summits will continue to be rolled out over the coming months, with the next planned Summit to be held with Regional Development Australia.”