Evidence-based, geographically relevant economic and social models are fundamental to good policy and decision making. Thankfully, the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) and their long-time partners, The National Institute of Economic and Industry Research [National Economics] continue to provide outstanding research in the field of local and regional development.
Reducing the inequality of income distribution within and between Australian regions through new investment will be pivotal to strengthening Australia’s economy and bridging the employment fallout from the subsiding mining boom in low income regions, according to the report launched at the Regional Cooperation and Development Forum in Canberra, on June 15th
The report, State of the Regions: Inequality between and within regions prepared by National Economics for the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), confirmed trends presented in recent OECD and IMF research papers showing the link between income inequality at a regional level and economic growth on a national level.
Dr Peter Brain, leading economist and co-author of the report, said:
The report identifies a need for policies and investments to be implemented on a region-by-region basis to decrease the existing inequality across Australian regions, which was expedited by the mining boom.
Local government is strategically placed to coordinate job-creation policies at the local level to improve Australia’s economic performance and hence make an important contribution to national economic growth.”
The President of the ALGA, Mayor Troy Pickard, said:
I welcome the report’s recommendation for a stronger partnership between the Australian Government and Local Government to improve the country’s economic performance, particularly through targeted investment in Local Government services such as local infrastructure maintenance and provision.