House of Representatives Select Committee on Regional Australia – Inquiry into the future of Regional Australia
The recent Pride of Place report has been published highlighting the access issues rural and regional Australians face.
The Terms of reference for the House of Representatives Select Committee on Regional Australia included:
Examining the effectiveness of existing regional service delivery and development programs;
Examining the contribution and role of regional Australia to our national identity, economy and environment;
Promoting the development of regional centres, cities, towns and districts including promoting master planning of regional communities;
Promoting private investment in regional centres and regional infrastructure;
Examine the key drivers for unlocking decentralisation opportunities for both the private and public sectors;
Promoting the competitive advantages of regional location for businesses;
Investigate the development of capital city size regional centres in strategic locations and the benefits this offers regional cities, capital cities, the Australian economy and lifestyle;
Examine the potential for new developments, towns and cities to be built in regional Australia;
Examining international examples of nations who have vast and productive regional areas, which are sparsely populated;
Examining ways urbanisation can be re-directed to achieve more balanced regional development;
Identifying the infrastructure requirements for reliable and affordable health, education, transport, telecommunications, clean energy, water and waste in a new settlement of reasonable size, located away from existing infrastructure; and
Consider other measures to support the ongoing growth and sustainability of regional Australia
The report recognises the issues related to a limited regional health workforce and notes:
In addition to being difficult to afford, Services for Australian Rural and
Remote Allied Health also noted the lack of availability of allied health
professionals in regional Australia:
The shortage of [allied health professionals] working in rural and remote
Australia is more severe than for either the general practice or hospital
medical workforces or for nursing. It means many people, especially those
without substantial personal means are unable to access allied health services
that would enhance their health and well-being.
This sentiment was supported by the Victorian Oral Health Alliance who
expressed concern at
‘… an unacceptably long waiting period to access
public dental care in most of regional Victoria (2022, pg. 63).’
Further information on VOHA’s submission can be found HERE.
The full report for the inquiry can be found HERE.