An Australian Government Initiative

Regional Development Australia

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About

Who we are

Regional Development Australia (RDA) is a national network of 52 committees made up of local leaders who work with all levels of government, business and community groups to support the development of their regions.

This Australian Government initiative brings together all levels of government to support the development of regional Australia. It is funded by the Australian Government and by state, territory and local governments in some jurisdictions. It is administered by the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities.

What we do

Regional Development Australia (RDA) committee members are local people developing local solutions to local issues. They build partnerships to develop strategies and deliver sustainable infrastructure and services to their regions.

They also work with each other to identify issues that cross regions.

As the regional development voice of their communities, RDA committees:

  • consult and engage with communities
  • promote and participate in regional programs and initiatives
  • provide information and advice on their region to all levels of government, and
  • support informed regional planning.

Each RDA committee has developed a Regional Plan which outlines priorities for the region and guides them in strengthening their communities.

2016 RDA Review

An Independent Review of the RDA program, conducted by the Hon Warwick L Smith AM in late 2016, found that there was a strong recognition for the contributions of RDA Committees to their regions, but a different approach was required to regional development.

In 2017, the Australian Government determined that this objective could be achieved through a refocusing and strengthening of the current RDA program through the provision of a charter and a number of other key reforms to the RDA:

  • Consolidating four Melbourne RDA Committees into one, consistent with arrangements in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth
  • Extending coverage of the RDA network to include the external territories of Christmas, Cocos (Keeling) and Norfolk Islands and the Jervis Bay Territory
  • Implementing a merit-based Chair, Deputy Chair and member appointment process
  • Establishing new performance measures to ensure that the outcomes of RDA Committee activities are properly monitored and measured.

Implementation of the reforms is complete.