Regional Institute Australia release 'Liveability Toolkit' to grow country towns

GROWTH: The Regional Institute Australia this week launched a new comprehensive toolkit to help country towns build their populations. Photo: Shutterstock
GROWTH: The Regional Institute Australia this week launched a new comprehensive toolkit to help country towns build their populations. Photo: Shutterstock

The release of a comprehensive practical guide is expected to equip South Australia's regional leaders with the right tools to bolster their community populations and promote their offerings.

The Liveability Toolkit was launched this week during Regional Australia Institute's (RAI) multi million-dollar campaign aimed at enticing metropolitan residents to live in regional Australia, including SA.

Chiefly, the new resource provides helpful strategies to help town leaders capitalise on the burgeoning national interest in Australia outside the city limits.

According to RAI chief economist Dr Kim Houghton, Australia is on the cusp of a new era, one in which regional Australian towns have the opportunity to grow and thrive.

"The toolkit helps regional towns and cities identify their greatest liveability assets, and how to shape these to target the kinds of new residents most needed."

Furthermore, it helps regional towns and cities to move beyond the general and obvious benefits of regional living, to craft their liveability offer around the assets that really make them stand out.

Through its research, the RAI has identified six key factors that are important to different demographic groups when assessing a town's liveability which include:

  • Health services
  • Education services
  • Cost of Living
  • Amenity
  • Connection to community
  • Lifestyle and opportunity

Officially launched by in Canberra on Thursday by Regional Health Regional Communications and Local Government Minister Mark Coulton, the toolkit has been labelled a valuable and timely resource.

"We have a highly mobile population in Australia and regional 'liveability' has a strong role to play in influencing people's decisions about where to live," the minister said.

Work in this area, he said, identifies what people are looking for when choosing a new place to call home, and why they move to one location and not another.

"Every regional area has its unique strengths, challenges and vision. The Liveability Toolkit helps communities identify the population flows, job trends and liveability factors in their region, so they can target the type of people they need to prosper," Dr Houghton said.

"As a general rule, people won't move to a place unless they have access to a job and critical infrastructure, such as telecommunications, electricity supply and water. After that, however, more subjective liveability factors come into play," Dr Houghton said.

For more details visit www.regionalaustralia.org.au.