29 October 2018

Australia’s dangerous fantasy: diverting population growth to the regions

A dangerous fantasy is taking hold in Australia: that government policy can divert population growth from our bulging capital cities to our needy regions. It’s a fantasy because a century of Australian history shows it won’t work. And it’s dangerous because it gives governments an excuse to avoid the hard decisions on planning and transport needed to make housing more affordable and cities more liveable.

3 August 2017

Australia’s city/country divide is not as wide as you may think

Many people assume Australia’s regions are getting a raw deal compared to the big cities. But beneath the oft-told “tale of two Australias” is a more nuanced story. Cities and regions both have pockets of disadvantage, as well as areas with healthy income growth and low unemployment. But shifts in population are driving a wedge between city and regional Australia.

4 January 2017

Productivity and geography: Presentation to Productivity Commission Conference

While economic growth has been concentrated in cities for some time, the trend has really accelerated in the past decade. Half of all jobs growth is now within a 2km radius of the city centres in both Melbourne and Sydney, reflecting the increasing share of new jobs in services industries where physical proximity really matters.

16 April 2012

Critiquing government regional development policies

For nearly a hundred years, governments have spent a huge amount of money and effort trying to promote economic growth in regional Australia, with little evidence of success.

24 May 2011

‘Bolting’ regions need better support

A new Grattan report, Investing in regions: Making a difference, shows that unless governments recognize the fast-changing reality of regional Australia, they will continue to both waste money and deprive many citizens of much-needed services.

28 October 2010

Broadband won’t drive regional business growth