The Regional Australia Summit: An Inclusive Approach to Policy Development.Report as inadecuate

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In October 1999, the Regional Australia Summit was held in Canberra to allow people from regional, rural, and remote areas to contribute their perspectives on the challenges facing rural Australia. The Summit aimed to develop a national appreciation of those challenges, gather ideas on meeting the challenges, establish goals, and identify roles for government and the corporate and community sectors in achieving those goals. Working groups explored 12 major themes, including communications, infrastructure, health, community well-being, aspects of economic development, community leadership, and education and training. Participants came from all parts of Australia and included a reasonable gender balance and significant Indigenous and youth participation. The key message delivered by participants was that rural Australians want to shape their own futures, drawing on partnerships between communities, government, and business. Other important points were that: there are no easy solutions to rural community problems; all stakeholders must make their various contributions to locally developed plans within the regional context; successful communities have reinvented themselves and capitalized on their natural strengths and assets; significant investments are needed in education, training, skill development, and leadership to develop the human capacity of rural Australia; the productive capacity of rural landscapes must be restored and maintained; rural communities need affordable, reliable access to telecommunications; Indigenous people are stakeholders in rural Australia; and government has the responsibility to provide and maintain basic community infrastructure. Recommendations for public policy are listed. (SV)

Descriptors: Access to Education, Community Development, Community Needs, Community Role, Conferences, Educational Needs, Foreign Countries, Government Role, Policy Formation, Public Policy, Rural Areas, Rural Development, Self Determination

Author: Holub, Linda


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