Regional development can be viewed as a holistic process whereby the environmental, economic, social, and cultural resources of a region are harnessed to deliver a range of sustainable goals that meet the particular needs and desires of geographic location. The region itself maybe either urban or rural in nature and can vary in size, population and in the attributes it possesses. The implications and scope of regional development may therefore vary in accordance with the definition of a region, and how the region and its boundaries are perceived internally and externally.
Regional development policy is complex given that is guided by a mixture of analysis of industry development, settlement planning, employment location, spatial analysis and supporting infrastructure provision.
Whilst economic analysis remains a critical consideration, the views of other specialists such as natural scientists, psychologists, anthropologists, engineering, lawyers, sociologists, political scientists, planners, and geographers are equally relevant.
In the current era of devolution of knowledge about "local solutions to local problems", local government has consistently championed the need for greater interest and government support for regional science.
Through this section we provide access to a range of national policies, resources and programs that are relevant to local government across Australia in fostering stronger regions.
ALGA's interest in regional development is further articulated through its active participation as a full member of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). ALGA is also an active member of a range of ministerial councils including the Standing Council on Regional Australia, Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure, Standing Council on Environment and Water, and the Infrastructure Working Group.
Regional Development Australia
Regional Development Australia (RDA) is an Australian Government initiative that brings together all levels of government to support the growth and development of regional Australia. RDA is delivered through a national network of 55 committees who build partnerships between governments, regional development organisations, local businesses, community groups and key regional stakeholders to provide strategic and targeted responses to social, economic and environmental issues affecting regional Australia.
The RDA National Charter [ PDF: 48 KB] sets out the areas of focus for the RDA network. The RDA National Roles and Responsibilities [ PDF: 59 KB] sets out the roles and responsibilities of the RDA network.
Each committee comprises of local leaders with broad and diverse skills and experience. Committee members are individuals who understand the challenges, opportunities and priorities within their region. Appointments to committees are made by the:
• Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government;
• In most jurisdictions, the state or territory government minister responsible for regional development; and
• In some jurisdictions the local government association.
These appointments are made through an open and public Expression of Interest process.
The Australian Government provides funding to support the operation of committees. In some jurisdictions, state, territory and local governments also provide funding or other forms of support.
The details of committees, including membership and contact details, can be found under State and Territory Information.