Chapter 1


Referral of the inquiry and terms of reference

The Select Committee on Jobs for the Future in Regional Areas was established on 31 July 2019 to inquire and report of the following matters:
new industries and employment opportunities that can be created in the regions;
the number of existing jobs in regional areas in clean energy technology and ecological services and their future significance;
lessons learnt from structural adjustments in the automotive, manufacturing and forestry industries and energy privatisation and their impact on labour markets and local economies;
the importance of long-term planning to support the diversification of supply chain industries and local economies;
measures to guide the transition into new industries and employment, including:
community infrastructure to attract investment and job creation,
the need for a public authority to manage the transition,
meaningful community consultation to guide the transition, and
the role of vocational education providers, including TAFE, in enabling reskilling and retraining;
the use of renewable resources in Northern Australia to build a clean energy export industry to export into Asia; and
any related matters.1
The committee was required to present its final report on or before 4 December 2019.

Conduct of the inquiry

The committee received 174 submissions for the inquiry. These submissions are listed at Appendix 1.
The committee also conducted seven public hearings:
1 October 2019 in Melbourne
10 October 2019 in Townsville
11 October 2019 in Mackay
30 October 2019 in Whyalla
1 November 2019 in Collie
5 November 2019 in Newcastle
6 November 2019 in Sydney.
Witnesses who appeared at the hearings are listed at Appendix 2. Answers to questions on notice and additional information provided by witnesses are also listed at Appendix 1.
The committee also undertook a site visit to the GFG Alliance Whyalla Steelworks on 30 October 2019.
Submissions, hearing transcripts and answers to questions on notice are available on the committee's website.
The committee would like to thank the individuals and organisations that made written submissions to the inquiry and/or gave evidence at the public hearings.

Structure of the report

The report is structured as follows:
Chapter 2 outlines the industries which have the most potential to provide jobs in regional areas.
Chapter 3 explores what is required to ensure the workforce is ready for the jobs of the future.
Chapter 4 investigates the role of planning in preparing and facilitating regional Australia to realise these opportunities.
Chapter 5 considers what governments at all levels can do to promote and support the development of the industries and jobs of the future in regional areas.
Chapter 6 outlines the approach taken to committee views in this report.

  • 1
    Journals of the Senate, No. 10—31 July 2019, p. 306.

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