The questions of why regions grow or fail to grow, and what, if anything, governments can do about it have attracted considerable interest and debate for many years. Both domestically and internationally, the economic and sociaI development of regions has remained an important concern of governments due to the uneven effects of dynamic processes such as globalisation, structural adjustment and technological change on their rate of development.
This article summarises a select review undertaken by the Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics (BTRE 2003) of previous government intervention approaches and experiences in pursuit of regional development. The review provides some useful insights into the purpose and outcomes of various government-sponsored interventions in Australia, and in a number of other comparable countries, including the European Union, United States, Canada and New Zealand. The study has drawn on a select number of ex-post evaluations and other similar assessments of key Australian and International regional policy interventions.