Terms of Reference

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 governance;
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.

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