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Barooga, New South Wales, 20–22 August 2019 2019

Concurrent Sessions

Concurrent Session 1 - Forming Dynamic and Vibrant Healthy Communities: growing and sustaining regional Australia

The well-being of people in rural, regional and remote communities is closely aligned with cohesive and engaged communities. This well-being is influenced by the many social, economic and environmental factors occurring in specific communities.

Concurrent Session 2 - Integrated Lifelong Learning and Employment in the Regions

Lifelong learning is about creating ‘a society of individuals who are motivated to continue learning throughout their lives – both formally and informally’. (OECD) Lifelong learning is increasingly important for people to adapt to change and build the skills and knowledge they need to respond to the rapidly changing employment requirements of the knowledge economy.

However, there are big challenges in terms of equity particularly where an individual’s motivation or ability to learn is impacted by social, cultural or economic circumstances. For example, workers in low skilled jobs receive fewer opportunities and less employer support for participation in training than workers in high skilled jobs. There is also compounding disadvantage for those currently not in the workforce.

Concurrent Session 3 - Delivering Quality Freight and Logistics and Distribution Services and Connectivity Networks

Infrastructure is a key enabler of progress across regions. The right infrastructure can help regions capitalise on their comparative and competitive advantages, help people access work and other community services, and facilitate the movement of freight between locations. Infrastructure is also important in providing the basic services and utilities that Australians require to maintain and enhance their standard of living.

Concurrent Session 4 - Implementing Best Practice Landscape scale Planning and Management

Landscape scale planning and management is a holistic approach to sustainable development concerned with biodiversity and local economies, agriculture, eco-tourism, geodiversity and the health and social benefits of the environment and society.

This session will have a very practical focus looking at the elements of quality strategic planning at the landscape scale. Topics include local business and community engagement; achieving coherence at local state and federal government levels; providing adequate budgetary commitments for staff resources and other costs; governance arrangement including clearly defined outcomes and lead responsibility identified; and evidence of clear implementation plans.

Concurrent Session 5 - Delivering Place-Based Regional Development

Regional economic development is not the preserve of any single actor organisation or institution. It is a collaborative endeavour or co-responsibility necessitating the input of myriad different actors. Regional economic development is informed by factors specific to particular places such as locational attributes, demographic profile industrial structure cultural characteristics and innovative capacities.

This session will throw light on the diverse roles and engagement of councils in the leadership, organisation, delivery and promotion of local and regional economic development in regional Australia. Topics include: Land use planning; Supporting business, collaboration /networking; lobbying and promotion; strategies and plans, business case development and attracting investment.

Concurrent Session 6 - Regional Australia and the National Agenda

Regions at the Ready: invest in Australia’s future identified four discernible categories for Federal Government investment in regional Australia:

  1. Investments that maintain the status quo;
  2. Catalytic investment that attract further investment;
  3. Investment in capacity building of rural communities – education, training and leadership; and
  4. Investment in human capital including the employment of people to design and deliver services in rural communities.

Two critical commonwealth programs are the City Deals program and the Regional Development Australia network.

Concurrent Session 7 - Tourism and Geotourism

Tourism is a significant contributor to Australia’s economy - for example in the Murray Darling Basin region of Australia $9 billion is generated by tourists compared to $15 billion generated by primary production. Regional areas have much to offer visitors in terms of amenity and landscapes.

Topics include:

  • Local government and regional development organisations maximizing return on their investment in the tourism industry;
  • Key trends in the industry and how regions are responding to these;
  • Key actions to assist with the sustainability of the tourism industry; and
  • Supporting the needs of the industry at the local level
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