A major indication of government recognition was achieved this month for Collective Position client, Regional Capitals Australia (RCA), when the alliance of regional city local governments addressed a Senate Committee investigating the growing needs of the nation’s 50 regional capitals.
Regional Capitals Australia played an active part in lobbying for the Federal Senate Inquiry, which was announced earlier this year, with a series of public hearings beginning in Geelong on August 21.
Collective Position Director Rachael Sweeney says the Senate Committee is trying to uncover the ‘significant role and contribution of regional capitals to Australia’, and the Inquiry marks an unprecedented level of focus on regional capitals at a Federal level.
“Having this Inquiry passed by the Senate is a major milestone for regional capitals; it has provided a platform for these important cities to demonstrate their true value and contribution to the social and economic wellbeing of regional Australia, and Australia as a whole,” says Sweeney.
Collective Position provides strategy, advocacy, communications and secretariat services to RCA. This work involves leading delegations to Canberra to meet with relevant politicians and stakeholders, developing policy documents and a strategic plan through close work with RCA’s membership of local government Mayors and CEOs.
Collective Position facilitated a strategic planning day in May, bringing together the RCA Board to collaborate on a redefined vision for the the alliance since it was established three year ago, and identifying crucial policy areas that RCA will lobby for in the 12 months leading up to the federal election.
At the Senate Inquiry, RCA Chair and Mackay Regional Council Mayor, Cr Deirdre Comerford told the Senate inquiry regional capitals jointly generate $225 billion per annum, or more than 15 per cent of national economic activity, yet there is no consistent national policy dedicated to lift the productivity and liveability of regional capitals.
Delivering the opening set of evidence at the first round of public hearings, Mayor Comerford called for additional Federal funding to grow Australia’s 50 regional capitals.
"The time for a rethink is now. RCA has made a clear call to action – our national leaders must take a good look at the potential that sits outside the urban growth boundaries of our capital cities – and commit to sustainably growing our regional capitals.
Further hearings are being held in Geraldton, WA and Launceston, Tasmania, with a report expected from the Senate by December 2015.
Collective Position is also working with RCA to develop a Positions Paper that will serve as a key engagement tool between federal policy makers in the lead up to the next election, likely to be in mid 2016.