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Investigating the Economic Importance of Mid-Sized Towns

Across the country, more than 2 million regional Australians live in a mid-sized town with a population of between 5,000 and 50,000. The Intergovernmental Shared Inquiry Program will shine the spotlight on these communities to examine their importance from an economic perspective, as well as their future growth trajectories. This new body of work on mid-sized towns will help fill the gap in evidence-based research relating to regional Australia.

In 2019, the Regional Australia Institute’s Inquiry Program into Mid-Sized Towns will focus on the following themes:

  • Understanding the types of mid-size towns we have in regional Australia – how they differ from each other in population size, in their main industries, and in their locations.
  • What attracts people and businesses to these towns and what keeps them there.
  • How a mid-size town plans its own economic growth – when is it best to specialise in an industry, and when it make sense to diversify the local economy.
  • How important schools, health facilities, and community infrastructure are to the people living and working in mid-size towns. We will look at the kinds of facilities people can generally expect to find in these kinds of towns.

As part of the inquiry and with the support of the RAI, the University of South Australia is conducting a short survey that will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. They are very interested to hear from anyone with backgrounds in councils, town-planning, tourism and economic development.

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