NSW Government decentralisation policy
The NSW Government response to the final report of the NSW Decentralisation Taskforce has now been released. The Decade of Decentralisation is the Government's policy vision for regional economic development in NSW.
The NSW Decentralisation Taskforce:
- was appointed by the Government in November 2012
- undertook a review of the Decade of Decentralisation policy and associated initiatives
- comprised five regional Members of Parliament who undertook extensive consultation with stakeholders.
In its review, the Taskforce report found that the community, business and other stakeholders were broadly supportive of the overall objectives of the policy. The Taskforce endorsed the objectives of the Decade of Decentralisation, and made a number of recommendations designed to strengthen and provide better focus for the Government's commitment to decentralisation and regional development.
The Decade of Decentralisation
The Government response is intended to enhance and build upon the agenda of the Decade of Decentralisation.
Key components of the Government's decentralisation policy agenda include:
- actively pursuing strategies and policies to encourage decentralisation - steady and strategic growth in regions;
- ensuring the services people need to make regional living attractive and viable are available and of high quality;
- giving increased local decision-making and participation to regional communities;
- managing NSW's predicted population growth with a careful balance between green-fields, urban infill and regional housing growth;
- providing infrastructure to increase the productivity and build the capacity of regional economies to grow;
- identifying more public sector job opportunities for relocation to regional areas; and
- working with local government authorities, including regional councils and shires, to deliver the right priorities and the best value for local areas from the NSW roads budget.
Key initiatives being implemented to further the Decade of Decentralisation policy include:
- Delivery of priority infrastructure to regional NSW;
- Proposed reforms to NSW's planning system which will support regional development;
- Delivery of infrastructure in mining-affected communities;
- Implementation of initiatives to support local decision-making;
- Grants to encourage people to relocate from metropolitan Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong to regional NSW;
- Ongoing implementation of the local government reform agenda; and Government agency decentralisation.