Deals light up re­gional ci­ties

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - BETTER BUSINESS - Garth Ship­per­lee COFFS HAR­BOUR CHAM­BER OF COM­MERCE

CITY Deals are the fu­ture of Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment in­vest­ment aim­ing to stim­u­late na­tional eco­nomic growth.

The Re­gional Aus­tralia In­sti­tute is pur­su­ing a new agenda to sup­port and en­hance the con­tri­bu­tion of towns, small ci­ties and ar­eas that lie be­yond the ma­jor cap­i­tal ci­ties.

Two re­ports writ­ten and re­leased by Dr Leonie Pear­son in June are in­ter­est­ing.

Firstly, Light­ing Up Our Great Small Ci­ties: Chal­leng­ing Mis­con­cep­tions.

This anal­y­sis of 31 re­gional ci­ties with a lot of statis­tics has a key mes­sage that, col­lec­tively, re­gional ci­ties ex­panded their economies by 3 per cent a year from 2001-2013.

They share a com­pa­ra­ble eco­nomic per­for­mance with ma­jor ci­ties across the key mea­sures of growth, out­put, par­tic­i­pa­tion and pro­duc­tiv­ity.

The re­port de­bunks ex­ist­ing myths about re­gional ci­ties of low growth, be­ing left be­hind in the knowl­edge econ­omy and be­ing too small to mat­ter.

How­ever, achiev­ing sus­tain­able growth into the fu­ture will re­quire a lo­cally tai­lored pol­icy ap­proach.

Dr Pear­son’s other re­port

is Blueprint for In­vest­ing in City Deals: Are you Ready to Deal?

This highlights how re­gional ci­ties are now ex­plic­itly part of the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment’s City Deals col­lab­o­ra­tive pro­gram and asks two broad ques­tions:

Are the eco­nomic en­gines ready? Is the city ready to deal?

To an­swer these it uses ev­i­denced-based ex­am­ples from the UK ex­pe­ri­ence and pro­vides a score­card on each city by mea­sur­ing 14 in­di­ca­tors across the four key cri­te­ria – busi­ness dy­namo, spe­cial­i­sa­tion, work­force en­gage­ment and life­style.

So what would a Coffs Har­bour City Deal look like? Through City Deals, govern­ments, in­dus­try and com­mu­ni­ties will de­velop col­lec­tive plans for growth and com­mit to the ac­tions, in­vest­ments, re­forms and gover­nance needed to im­ple­ment them.

Does Coffs Har­bour have what it takes to be in the next City Deal and, if not, how will deal-mak­ing help the city to be­come the No.1 re­gional city?

Dr Pear­son will present and share in­sights on the City Deals pro­gram on Tues­day, Novem­ber 21, from 7am at Coffs Har­bour Golf Club.

The talk will pro­vide an out­line of nine in­gre­di­ents for suc­cess and present com­par­a­tive data on Coffs Har­bour’s eco­nomic per­for­mance.

To book, con­tact the of­fice on info@coff­scham­ber.com.au

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