Part 2: Performance Report (page 1)

This part comprises a report on the department's performance in 2012–13 under the four outcomes specified in the Appropriation Bills. It summarises the department's results against the key performance indicators published in the 2012–13 Portfolio Budget Statements and highlights major achievements during the year.

Performance Report

Outcome 1

Program 1.1 Regional Development

Regional Policy

The department's regional policy activities improve social, economic and environmental outcomes in regional Australia.

The department worked with all levels of government and with a range of community and industry stakeholders in 2012–13 to deliver positive outcomes for regional Australia, including in the areas of health, education, skills, infrastructure, environment and industry.

The department played a coordinating role within the Commonwealth to ensure regional implications and opportunities are embedded in Australian Government policies, programs and service delivery.

The department also supported the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Regional Australia Standing Council, to facilitate intergovernmental cooperation on matters affecting regional Australia.

Table 2 summarises the department's performance against its key performance indicators for 2012–13. The department fully achieved all of its regional policy key performance indicators.

Image: Departmental employees in a meeting discussing the Regional Economic Development Guide, released in 2012-13

Departmental employees discuss the Regional Economic Development Guide, released in 2012–13.

Table 2: Program 1.1: Regional development—regional policy—performance results

Table 2: Program 1.1: Regional development—regional policy—performance results
Deliverables
  • Provide strategic policy and implementation advice on the delivery of the Government's commitment to improved outcomes for regional Australia.
  • Deliver a Regional Policy Statement and a Guide to Regional Economic Development.
  • Collaborate with Commonwealth agencies to implement the regional policy agenda.
  • Drive regional policy reforms across all three tiers of government.
  • Build an evidence base to support regional decision-making, planning and economic growth.
Key performance indicatorsResultsa
  • Regional Policy Statement and Guide to Regional Economic Development endorsed by Government.
Partially Achieved

The department released the Regional Economic Development Guide. The government did not endorse the Regional Policy Statement.
  • Collaboration on regional policies in areas such as health, education, skills, infrastructure, environment and industry delivers benefits to regional communities.
Achieved

The department worked across a wide range of portfolios and programs to improve outcomes for regional communities.
  • Strategies with states, territories and local governments agreed to strengthening regions, including an economic framework to build stronger and more sustainable regional communities; improving regional productivity and competitiveness; and improving identification, prioritisation and funding of regional infrastructure.
Achieved

The COAG Regional Australia Standing Council released a framework for regional economic development and a number of other initiatives.
  • The use of evidence improved in regional policy decision making.
Achieved

The department worked closely with information services providers such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics to improve the range and accessibility of socio-economic data for regions to support major policy considerations.
  • myregion.gov.au website is maintained to ensure that it effectively engages with key stakeholders through a centralised regional specific portal.
Achieved

Use of the myregion website and engagement through its social media accounts continued to increase steadily. More than 190 regional news and blog items were posted on the site and 13 socio-economic datasets were published for each Regional Development Australia area.

2011–12 result: Achievedb

a Trend information provided where available.

b The wording of this indicator was updated in the 2012–13 Portfolio Budget Statements. In 2011–12, it read ‘myregion.gov.au website delivered on time and on budget and effectively engages with key stakeholders through a centralised regional-specific portal’.

Major achievements

Regional Australia Standing Council

The department facilitated the first meetings of the COAG Regional Australia Standing Council, which supports effective planning and coordination across all levels of government on matters affecting regional Australia. The council was chaired by the Minister for Regional Australia, Local Government and Territories and comprises regional development ministers from all Australian states and territories and New Zealand, and the president of the Australian Local Government Association. In 2012–13 the Council agreed to a range of initiatives relating to regional economic development, infrastructure, local leadership and collaborative regional policy.

The department provided secretariat support to the council and is also represented on the council's Senior Officials Group, which assists the council with developing and implementing its work program.

Whole-of-government collaboration

The department worked collaboratively with other Commonwealth agencies to ensure regional interests were embedded into major government policy announcements in 2012–13. Major policy initiatives that the department contributed to in 2012–13 included the Australia in the Asian century white paper, the National Food Plan and the National Plan for School Improvement.

myregion website

The department continued to expand the content on myregion.gov.au throughout the year to increase the utility of the site for people in Australia's regions. In October and December 2012, 13 socio-economic datasets were published for each region, defined by Regional Development Australia area. Region-specific socio-economic data is presented alongside state and national data, in graphic and raw data formats.

The website was updated throughout the year with news and information about programs and people in regions across the country, and links to information on Australian Government grants and assistance.

Regional Economic Development Guide

The department released the Regional Economic Development Guide to provide further policy guidance and assist regional stakeholders in their strategic planning for regional economic development.

The guide explains the key determinants of regional economic development, which were agreed by the COAG Regional Australia Standing Council in July 2012, and discusses how to apply them to analyse regional economies and develop initiatives to enhance economic growth.

Regional ministerial budget statement

As has been past practice, the department coordinated whole-of-government input to the regional ministerial statement in the 2013–14 Budget by developing a comprehensive regional budget communications package that highlighted the government's commitment to regional economic and social development. The Ministerial statement 2013–14—Regional Australia: strengthening communities outlined the Australian Government's initiatives to strengthen regional communities and empower them to achieve economic and social dividends. The statement included information on regional budget initiatives from 18 portfolios.

Image: A screenshot the myregion.gov.au website showing the site’s main page, which gives readers the opportunity to click through to any state or territory to receive region-specific socio-economic information and information on government activities in a particular region.

The myregion.gov.au site provides news and information on government activities in regional Australia and features region-specific socio-economic data.

Outcome 1

Program 1.1 Regional Development

Regional Development Australia Committees

Regional Development Australia (RDA) is a national network of 55 committees of local leaders who work with all levels of government, business and community groups to support the development of their regions.

RDA committees form a link between governments and regional communities. The RDA initiative was administered by the department and is jointly funded by the Australian Government and state, territory and local governments.

Table 3 summarises the department's performance against its key performance indicators for 2012–13, which were all achieved.

Image: Gail Suilicich, chair of the Adelaide Metropolitan RDA, speaking at the 2013 RDA National Forum

Ms Gail Sulicich, Chair, RDA Adelaide Metropolitan, addressing the 2013 RDA National Forum on the topic of human capital.

Table 3: Program 1.1: Regional development—Regional Development Australia committees—performance results

Table 3: Program 1.1: Regional development—Regional Development Australia committees—performance results
Deliverables
  • Enhance engagement with Commonwealth, state, territory and local governments and regional communities to better identify issues affecting, and opportunities for, regional Australia.
  • Deliver funding to strengthen Regional Development Australia committees to support sustainable economic and social development.
Key performance indicatorsResultsa
  • Regional Development Australia committees work with key regional stakeholders to develop a regionally supported plan.
Achieved

All 55 Regional Development Australia committees worked with key stakeholders across their regions, including local governments, to develop regional plans outlining strengths, challenges, opportunities and priorities for their regions.
  • Regional Development Australia plans are recognised and utilised by Commonwealth and State agencies in developing their regional priorities and reflect local community priorities.
Achieved

All 55 Regional Development Australia plans provided a recognised source of local and regional information to Commonwealth and state agencies for policy, program and service delivery arrangements.

The department continued to actively promote the use of the RDA plans by Australian Government, state and territory agencies.

2011–12 result: Achieved

a Trend information provided where available.

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