Australia’s Federal and State governments continue to deal with the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the extraordinary requirements for support and stimulus. In the two decades prior to the pandemic, Victoria’s economy was largely driven by population growth from net immigration to Melbourne. However, to continue with the same pattern of growth, in which most of the business and professional jobs were created in the inner areas of Melbourne while most new homes were created in outer Melbourne growth suburbs, will impair productivity and increase inequality.
An alternative approach of rebalancing population growth into Victoria’s regions is needed, to deliver more widespread economic growth and address inequalities between the regional areas and metropolitan Melbourne. Rebalancing growth requires government leadership and intervention - to incentivise the growth of regional cities and their economies, to help link regions into national and international trade networks, and to provide infrastructure such as upgraded rail services.
Our approach to regionalisation is founded on seven principles:
- Regionalisation will drive higher economic growth for Australia
- High speed connectivity is essential for regional growth
- High speed rail is widely-adopted as a transport solution globally
- A national high speed rail network can be delivered in stages
- The Australian Government must lead and fund rail infrastructure
- Regional cities must manage their own growth and development
- The rail industry must step up and compete in global markets