Conference paper
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Abstract: Regional cities are seen as an increasingly important element of the national settlement system – particularly in terms of a policy objective to accommodate a higher proportion of future population growth. However, there is a lack of evidence and analysis about the growth dynamics of these cities, and most appropriate policy levers to accelerate their growth. The objective of this paper is to assess the factors influencing the economic growth of Victoria’s regional cities and identify the strategic policy options to accelerate this growth. A benchmarking analysis and policy review shows that higher growth in Victoria’s cities is influenced by: increasing productivity and exports; lifting tertiary attainment and reducing the proportion of unskilled and semi-skilled workers; improving connectivity to external markets; and, improving accessibility to amenities and opportunities for social participation. The paper concludes by outlining a framework to guide future investment, and suggests a greater policy focus on human capital and business development to achieve stronger growth outcomes.

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