The regional Local Government Associations and SAROC have been developing a regional election strategy ahead of the 2018 State election.
The election campaign revolves around seeking a political commitment from whoever forms, or can influence, the next Government to three ‘decentralisation’ goals:
1. Growing our Regional Centres
Goal of 30% of South Australia's population to be based outside Greater Adelaide, with a particular focus on our regional service centres.
This target brings SA in line with the national figure of one third of the population living in regional areas. Currently the SA Strategic Plan commits country regions to simply maintaining 18% of the state's population.
2. Royalties for Regions
Last year mining royalty revenue to the SA Government was worth about $221 million. If a ‘Royalties for Regions’ program was in place that quarantined 25% of this revenue for country communities, it would have meant a direct investment of $55 million to regional SA last year – a trebling of the state’s current $15 million Regional Development Fund.
Based on the SA Government’s own budget figures, mining royalties are estimated to grow to about $278 million by 2019/20 - potentially returning just under $70 million per annum to regions.
3. Regionalise Decision Making
Goal of 30% of the state government public service to be based outside Greater Adelaide.
The ongoing centralisation of the public service to Adelaide has meant a direct loss of jobs and residents living and working in regional South Australia and a disconnect that is reflected in centralised policy and decision making. Put simply, the more the public service is centralised into Adelaide, the more policy decisions are formed through a 'city' lens and the more connection with the country is lost.
Ahead of finalising the regional election campaign, Councils are invited to participate in a forum on Wednesday 27th September 2017, which will include an overview of the draft strategy and presentations from:
- Professor Dean Jaensch (political scientist and retired Professor of Political and International Studies at Flinders University.
- Jack Archer (CEO) and Dr Kim Houghton (Senior Policy Researcher) from Regional Australia Institute
- Professor Dean Carson (Senior Researcher) from Charles Darwin University
To view the program click here.
To register for this event please contact Astrid Crago at the LGA on: 8224 2031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.