Did you hear Jennifer Westacott’s speech to the National Press Club last week? The Business Council of Australia (BCA) is weighing into the regional development debate. ABC Radio Central West NSW asked me about it this morning, and you can listen here at 41:42. (Short version: I may not agree with all of the BCA’s proposed policy solutions, but the fact that they’re highlighting the policy failings of recent years is a very good thing.)
The federal government last week released its response to Regions at the Ready, the blueprint for regional development produced by the Select Committee on Regional Development and Decentralisation. With eight months to hone its response, the government should have delivered something innovative and ambitious. It didn’t even come close. Read my analysis here, from The Conversation.
You might have heard that the Federal Government is relocating jobs at the Australian Maritime Safety Authority from Canberra to Coffs Harbour. Now, I like Coffs Harbour as much as the next person – but is the transfer of 50 jobs a reasonable substitute for proper regional development policy there? Short version: no, it’s not. Longer version: listen to me on ABC Radio here, at 3:36-14:32.
The good people at the New Books Network in the US recorded a really handy little podcast interview with me. Why ‘handy’? Because you get a 15-minute audio summary of what the book’s all about. Super handy! Listen here.
Why have I been pushing for a White Paper on regional Australia? You can hear me explaining it here on ABC Radio’s ‘Australia Wide’ – scroll through to 4 minutes 25 seconds into the program.
The Select Committee’s report, Regions at the ready: investing in Australia’s future, sets out a smart work program for government. Want to read more? Here’s my piece from The Conversation.
Three cheers for research that influences policymaking! I’m so pleased that the Select Committee on Regional Development and Decentralisation found the research and recommendations in my book useful. Have you read the committee’s report? Here it is.
The Dean of the ACU Canberra campus, Patrick McArdle, very generously hosted my colleagues, friends and family last night for the book’s first launch event. (Big shout-out to my mum for driving a couple of hours to attend!)
Our guest speaker, Cathy McGowan AO, MP, the Member for Indi, reminded us all of what’s at stake in the struggle for good regional policy: maintaining the strength and spirit of our regional communities, and giving kids in regional Australia the educational and employment opportunities they deserve.
You can grab a copy of the book here.
We all know that a book doesn’t exist (not properly) until it’s been launched. So we’re really looking forward to our book launch at the Australian Catholic University in Canberra on Thursday 31 May.
And who’s our special guest on the night? None other than Cathy McGowan AO, MP, the independent Member for Indi. Cathy has spent the past year toiling away on the Select Committee on Regional Development and Decentralisation. So really, there’s no-one better to launch this book!