Regional Cooperation and Development Forum – Benefits of local and regional infrastructure investment

This year's Regional Cooperation and Development Forum will be held on Sunday 14 June in Canberra and will include the launch of the 2015-16 State of the Regions Report. The Forum is an opportunity for Mayors, Councillors, Regional Development Australia committee members and other key decision and policy makers to gather together to share knowledge and experience to strengthen the ability of Australia's regions to compete in the global economy.

This year's Forum and report will examine the critical role played by our regional infrastructure assets and models the productivity benefits from strategic investment in a range of asset classes. Delivering this year's keynote address will be Dr Paul Collits. Dr Collits has had a long and varied career in regional economic development, having worked at senior levels for the NSW Department of State and Regional Development, University of Sunshine Coast and most recently as the Economic Development Advisor at Gosford City Council.

This year's Forum also features a session run by senior officials from the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, focussing on how to maximise grant outcomes, including feedback from the first round of applications for the Stronger Regions Fund and Bridges Renewal Programs. An afternoon panel discussion will examine the role of Regional Cities in regional economic development. The Chair of Economic Development Australia, Mr Mark Holdsworth will present on the diverse work of EDA with a focus on local government.

This year's State of the Regions Report will include regional estimates and analysis of the economic costs and opportunities associated with addressing Australia's underperforming infrastructure. The report will also update economic modelling for the regions and discuss the latest implications for Australia's regions after the mining boom and a lower Australian dollar exchange rate.

More information on how to register to attend the Regional Forum can be found here