1 May 2020
The economic shock brought on by COVID-19 will have a disproportionate effect on growth areas due to their reliance on the hardest hit sectors for employment, and the prominence of vulnerable communities.
In our NGAA Member consultations last week we heard how growth area councils have scaled up their service offer to deal with drastically increased need for assistance from vulnerable communities; are providing extensive one-on-one support to struggling local small and medium sized businesses; are bringing forward capital works projects to keep local people and businesses working; all amidst uncertainty about the future of their own workforce. At the same time, council revenues are shrinking because of service restrictions; waiving, rebating or reducing rates, fees and charges to industry, business and residents; and the residential housing sector downturn. Many Member councils are also still coping with the aftermath of the summer bushfires in their area.
Yet there are opportunities that provide the chance for growth areas and the Australian economy more broadly to emerge stronger post-pandemic. These include the roll-out of infrastructure stimulus packages at both the state and federal government level, and the appetite to build the capacity of small business to embrace innovation and new technologies.
Next week the NGAA is releasing a series of recommendations aimed at giving outer urban growth areas the opportunity to reach their economic and productivity potential, and play a pivotal role in the nation’s recovery from COVID-19 economic shock. They build on Alliance’s Policy Platform and support our 2020-21 Federal Budget Submission.
Members only- more about the Member consultations on the impact of COVID-19, resources and more in the Members Section of this website.
"COVID-19 has shown Australia's prosperity depends heavily on our vast growth areas workforce, Ms Clark says." ABC News report on NGAA research - full story here.Read more
The NGAA is calling for a Minister for Growth Areas, says NGAA CEO, Bronwen Clark, in this article in The Mandarin.Read more
The Government and Opposition took part in the NGAA launch of Priorities for outer metropolitan growth areas - four priorities and two reasons for urgent action in growth areas.Read more