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Thursday, 27 June 2013
Page: 7322

Regional Development and Local Government

(Question No. 1496)

Mr Baldwin asked the Minister for Regional Development and Local Government, in writing, on 14 May 2013:

In respect of his department's regional policies on (a) health, (b) education, (c) skills, (d) infrastructure, (e) environment, and (f) industry, (i) how, and (ii) with whom, has his department collaborated.

Ms King: The answer to the honourable member's question that was directed to the former Minister for Regional Development and Local Government, the Hon Anthony Albanese MP is as follows:

My Department works collaboratively with all levels of government and with a range of community and industry stakeholders to advocate for positive outcomes for regional Australia, including in the areas of health, education, skills, infrastructure, environment and industry.

My Department acts as a conduit to provide local information from the ground up to inform Commonwealth policy and program design and delivery, including information generated through local governments and the Regional Development Australia committee network.

My Department also plays a coordinating role, working across Australian Government agencies to ensure regional implications and opportunities are embedded in policies, programs and service delivery. For example, my Department has contributed to the design of regional elements of major government policies and reform in the areas of education, health, aged care, immigration, the Clean Energy Future plan, the Asian Century White Paper and the National Food Plan.

The Department also administers the Regional Australia Impact Statement (RAIS) which is used to inform the Government of the likely specific impacts, positive or negative, of a new policy on regional Australia. A RAIS must be included in all Cabinet Submissions and associated new policy proposals that are likely to impact on regional Australia. Additionally, my Department supports the COAG Standing Council on Regional Australia which enables the Australian Government, states and territories to work closely on regional matters.