Great expectations: what regional policy can achieve in Australia


Collits, Paul. 2006. "Great expectations: what regional policy can achieve in Australia." Farm Policy Journal. 3 (3), pp. 1-11.
Article Title

Great expectations: what regional policy can achieve in Australia

ERA Journal ID45081
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorCollits, Paul
Journal TitleFarm Policy Journal
Journal Citation3 (3), pp. 1-11
Number of Pages11
PublisherAustralian Farm Institute
Place of PublicationSydney, Australia
Web Address (URL)

There is a fundamental mismatch in Australia between the expectations that many have of regional policies – defined as deliberate interventions by government to improve the position of particular places – and the capacity of these policies to deliver. This is both because the expectations are unreasonably high and because regional policy’s effectiveness is relatively limited. It is important to achieve a better alignment between expectations and likely outcomes, if only to focus the best minds in regional development on doing better what is actually achievable, and away from entertaining big ideas based on delusions of policy grandeur. Policy development should be based on serious analysis and not just a response to the voices of interest groups or to those regional problems that are urgent and visible. The end result of such an exercise would not be greater government intervention, but better intervention.

Keywordsregional planning; decision making; public administration evaluation
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020440699. Human geography not elsewhere classified
380118. Urban and regional economics
330406. Regional analysis and development
Byline AffiliationsRoyal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT)
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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