Regional Ministers set new priority

Regional Development Ministers from around Australia have agreed to work together to establish a clear framework for cooperation between all levels of government.

A meeting in Canberra on 29 March to discuss the recommendations of last year's Regional Summit issued a communique which registered "deep concern that, in the face of growing challenge and change, regional and rural Australia needs the sustained support of all levels of government in helping create opportunity and prosperity."

The meeting, also attended by the Australian Local Government Association, established a task force to develop a policy framework for improved cooperation in regional development.

The task force will identify immediate and concrete opportunities for improved collaboration and cooperation, including in the areas of shopfront service delivery, regional leadership development and one-stop shops. The task force will also examine opportunities for the different spheres of government to provide each other's services.

The proposed policy framework and the reports on specific opportunities for collaboration, will be considered at a ministerial meeting around mid-year.