Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ready for tomorrow - Victoria pushes decentralisation

The Victorian Government's Ready for Tomorrow Strategy has received wide publicity. You will find the strategies here, an example of the coverage here.

Now before I go on, two points.

NSW might argue that it has already moved some Government agencies to Bathurst and did so a long time ago. It is also the case that NSW is a much bigger state in geographic terms. The places that Victoria is focusing on are all closer to Melbourne than Bathurst is to Sydney.

All that said, the Victorian move is proactive and illustrates the gap between that state and NSW where planning is reactive and narrowly focused on service delivery.

One of the reasons why so many of us support self-government for New England is just to get out from under, to have a chance to do our own thing. In the meantime, we could all wish that the NSW Government had a better vision, instead of a State Plan based around a series of loosely connected and mechanistic performance indicators.


Greg said...

People will move/stay where there is opportunity. Victoria has it right. If govt. departments decentralise from Melbourne to regional Vic then that brings more people to regional centres. That in turn attracts more investment and jobs which in turn attracts more people and so on.

NSW is physically too large (bigger than Germany or France), geographically too diverse and politically too concentrated. I don't see effective decentralisation ever happening in NSW without a carve up.

Jim Belshaw said...

You are dead right, Greg.

Part of my problem is that until we can get self-government, we are dependent on Sydney to do things. So we have to hit that too.