Home' Be : Be Issue 23 Contents and what can be done to identify opportunities for
development and advancement?
Associate Professor Susan Kinnear, Senior Research
Fellow in the Centre for Tourism and Regional
Opportunities at CQUniversity, believes the future of
our regions is bright – provided that a strong focus is
placed on investment, education and innovation.
“ The regions are the building blocks for the rest of
Australia, but this importance and the contribution of
the regions is often underestimated by metropolitan
Australia and our governments.
“Regions themselves need to demonstrate a clear
value proposition to all three tiers of government, as
well as to the private and philanthropic sectors, if they
are to attract the interest and investment needed for
“Focusing on regional innovation, and growing our
human capital in regions, is an important first step in
unlocking the full potential of regional Australia.”
Associate Professor Kinnear also explains that in
order for regional communities to thrive they must be
economically viable and that opportunities must exist
for education and employment – that means stopping
the exit of youth, and reversing the brain drain from
“ Young people may often feel that more
opportunities are available to them in the cities – both
when it comes to education and future employment
which is why so many inevitably and unfortunately
leave our regions.
“ This obviously impacts the social demographics of
our regions because our young people are moving away
and taking their ideas and skills with them.
“ To counteract this trend investment needs to be
made in education, industry and innovation in our
regions, then the employment and entrepreneurial
opportunities will follow.
“ This in turn will allow communities to flourish
socially and economically, paving the way for
strong, more sustainable and more vibrant future
Despite the challenges, Associate Professor Kinnear
adds that regional Australia already has a strong track
record when it comes to innovation related to business
and community development.
“Research has shown that regional Australia has a
strong track record when it comes to innovation – our
small business and industry perform just as strongly
as their city counterparts.
“ We need to capitalise more on this, and more
importantly regional Australia needs to emerge at the
forefront of the current government’s ‘ideas boom’
“ The traditional regional industries like agriculture
and mining will continue to exist, but they will be
supported by knowledge-based industries with a
technological focus – this is happening everywhere
and our regions will not be immune.
“Beneficially, with the continued emergence of
new technologies and new types of work, the problem
of distance begins to shrink; so people living in
regional Australia will potentially be able to access
greater opportunities than ever before.
“ The future of regional Australia is a challenging
one but also an exciting one. It’s important for people
everywhere to realise the power and importance of
regional Australia because this country is prosperous
because of its regions – they hold the natural
resources, the food productivity, the power generation
and so much more. There is immense economic
opportunity in further unlocking this potential and
empowering communities to embrace innovation and
“In particular the recent focus on northern
Australia shows that government is considering the
strategic value of non-metropolitan areas.
“All in all, strong regional development will lead
to a stronger nation – and that offers benefits for
CQUniversity will continue to focus on regional futures when it hosts the 2016 RUN Regional
Futures Conference in Rockhampton from 21 – 24 June this year. Held over four days, the
Conference will offer delegates the opportunity to explore themes and content which are
relevant to sustainable, healthy, creative, prosperous and connected futures for regional
Australia. To find out more about regional futures and the conference please
Links Archive Be Issue 22 Navigation Previous Page Next Page