Inquiry into regional development and decentralisation


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In accordance with the Committee's Resolution of Appointment an Issues Paper has been published on 24 August 2017.

In accordance with the Committee's Resolution of Appointment an Interim Report has been published on 8 December 2017.


The Inquiry’s Terms of Reference are included in the Committee's  Resolution of Appointment.  They are:

1. this House establish a select committee, to be known as the Select Committee on Regional Development and
Decentralisation, to inquire and report on the following matters:

  a. best practice approaches to regional development, considering Australian and international examples, that support:

    i. growing and sustaining the rural and regional population base;

    ii. the benefits of economic growth and opportunity being shared right across Australia;

    iii. developing the capabilities of regional Australians;

    iv. growing and diversifying of the regional economic and employment base;

    v. an improved quality of life for regional Australians;

    vi. vibrant, more cohesive and engaged regional communities;

    vii. leveraging long-term private investment; and

    viii. a place-based approach that considers local circumstances, competitive advantages and involves collective

    b. decentralisation of Commonwealth entities or functions, as a mechanism to increase growth and prosperity in regional
        areas, considering Australian and international examples, including:

    i. examining the potential for decentralisation to improve governance and service delivery for all Australians,
       considering the administrative arrangements required for good government;

    ii. identifying the characteristics of entities that would be suited to decentralisation without impacting on the ability to
        perform their functions;

    iii. identifying the characteristics of locations suitable to support decentralised entities or functions, including
         consideration of infrastructure and communication connectivity requirements;

    iv. considering different models of decentralisation, including:

         - relocation of all or part of a Commonwealth entity to a regional area;

         - decentralisation of specific positions, with individual employees telecommuting, considering any limitations
            to this in current Australian Public Service employment conditions and rules; and

         - co-location of decentralised Commonwealth entities or employees in existing regionally based Commonwealth
           or State Government offices; and

    v. examining the family, social and community impacts of decentralising;

  c. actions of the Commonwealth that would encourage greater corporate decentralisation and what can be learned from
      corporate decentralisation approaches, including:

    i. considering the role of the private sector in sustainably driving employment and growth opportunities in regional
       areas in both existing and new industries;

    ii. comparing the access to early stage equity and or debt finance of metropolitan and regional businesses for both
        start up and established businesses;

    iii. examining access to capital for regional business, including agribusiness, manufacturing and technology;
    iv. considering the adequacy of regional businesses access to early stage accelerators and incubators, including access
         to business mentors, business networks and capital (debt or equity);
    v. considering the adequacy to support the private sector to attract and retain skilled labour to regional areas; and

    vi. examining the extent to which employment and growth can be supported by growing existing and new industries
         in regional areas, leveraging strong transport and communications connectivity; and

  d. any related matters;

Committee Secretariat contact:

PO Box 6021
Parliament House

Phone: +61 2 6277 4397

About this inquiry

The Select Committee on Regional Development and Decentralisation will inquire and report on best practice approaches to regional development, the decentralisation of Commonwealth entities, and supporting corporate decentralisation.

Past Public Hearings

28 Mar 2018: Canberra
13 Mar 2018: Toowoomba
16 Feb 2018:


Inquiry Status


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