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Thursday, 27 June 2013
Page: 7321

Regional Development and Local Government

(Question No. 1490)

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

(1) How has his department ensured that regional implications are embedded in broader policy considerations and program implementation across the Australian Government.

(2) For what programs in 2012-13 (to date) has his department provided input on regional implications.

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:

(1) The Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport (the Department) supports a strong, creative and liveable Australia by focusing on regional development, arts and sport and empowering communities to improve economic and social outcomes. At the core of the Department's work is an understanding of the significance of the regions to Australia's economy, environment, wellbeing and identity. The Department achieves this through partnerships and policy design which gives regions a voice and contributes to effective service and program delivery.

The Department plays a coordinating role, working across Australian Government agencies to ensure regional implications and opportunities are embedded in policies, programs and service delivery. The Department supports the COAG Standing Council on Regional Australia which enables the Australian Government, states and territories to work closely on regional matters. Additionally, the Department has developed 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. The RAIS must be included in all Cabinet Submissions and associated new policy proposals that are likely to impact on regional Australia.

( 2 ) The Department provided regional policy advice to ensure regional input and perspectives were included in policy development and implementation across government.

The Department contributed to the development of major policies relating to regional economic development, regional infrastructure and regional engagement across government through the COAG Standing Council on Regional Australia.

The Department also 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.

A key success for the year was the 2013-14 Regional Budget package which identified Government initiatives for regional Australia. These initiatives are outlined in the Ministerial Budget Statement Regional Australia: Strengthening Communities.