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Improve the understanding of Commonwealth agencies and regions of the requirements of individual communities by improving how regional needs are analysed

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Key strategy Performance indicators Achievement
Improve the understanding of Commonwealth agencies and regions of the requirements of individual communities by improving how regional needs are analysed.
(Contributing divisions: Economic Research and Portfolio Policy, and Regional Policy)
More information and analysis published and available to assist regional development. Achieved


Key achievements

In 2002-03, the department made a significant contribution to the evidence base, which is crucial to developing effective regional policy.

Examples of research the department commissioned follow:

  • The department's publication, Community and Campus, provides practical advice to communities and universities on how they can achieve great results by working together towards common goals. It provides real examples and case studies of how this engagement can occur, and of the sort of enhanced opportunities that can be generated in regional Australia.

  • Regional research programmes have funded seven projects in 2002-03, with a total value of approximately $220 000. One project resulted in the publication of the Regional Business Development Analysis Literature Review, which provides a better understanding of the needs of regional business and the environment in which regional business operates.

  • The publication of a comprehensive statistical profile of each of the eight Sustainable Regions:
- North-west and west coast of Tasmania
- Gippsland (Vic)
- Campbelltown/Camden (NSW)
- Far north east New South Wales
- Playford/Salisbury (SA)
- Atherton Tablelands (Qld)
- Kimberley (WA)
- Wide Bay Burnett (Qld).

These profiles are based on a standard set of indicators including population growth and projections, employed persons by industry and regional environmental issues. The profiles will greatly assist regions identify opportunities and plan for future growth.

The Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics (BTRE) produced four research publications in 2002-03 contributing toward an improved understanding of economic and social factors influencing regional Australia:

  • Regional Public Transport in Australia: Long-distance services, trends and projections (Working Paper 51), provides a set of information for policy makers on existing long-distance public transport services to regional areas and the likely impact of long-term demographic changes on the demand for future services.
  • Regional Public Transport in Australia: Economic Regulation and Assistance Measures (Working Paper 54), provides a snapshot of the Commonwealth and state/territory governments' regulatory and assistance arrangements affecting long-distance regional public transport across Australia in 2001-02. This research, together with Working Paper 51 (above), was completed for the Australian Transport Council as an input to national policy development on regional public transport issues.
  • About Australia's Regions, provides an informative introduction to the latest social, economic and environmental statistics for Australia's regions. The broad public dissemination of this booklet improves access to factual information about conditions in Australia's regions.
  • Government interventions in pursuit of regional development: LEARNING FROM EXPERIENCE (Working Paper 55), reviews Australian and international government regional policy interventions, providing insights into what does and does not work in addressing regional development issues.

BTRE publications can be accessed through the BTRE website www.bitre.gov.au or by contacting the department on 02 6274 7210.

To ensure that departmental staff are aware of current regional issues, in February 2003, the BTRE held a four-day regional economics course. The course was well attended by approximately 80 participants from the Commonwealth, state regional development agencies, local government and non-government regional development organisations. The course improved the understanding of participants of methods available for analysing regional economic issues.

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