Australia’s future – a few 10 million person megacities or something more balanced?

Shelter NSW was very happy to attend the Regions Rising National Summit 2022 run by the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) this week in Canberra. In recent years Shelter NSW has built a strong relationship with RAI, a research body with unparalleled research capacity and on-the-ground experience with regional, rural and remote Australia.
The RAI launched its Regionalisation Ambition 2032 campaign at the conference – an ambition that challenges the apparent move towards just a few heavily populated megacities in Australia. It proposes an alternative that would see a ‘rebalancing’ of where Australia’s growing population could live. The RAI’s vision is to have 11 million people living prosperously in regional Australia – 500,000 more than current. The conference covered a wide range of interconnected challenges that need to be solved; from regional housing, education, health, jobs and skills, digital inclusion, transport, childcare, community participation, migration, climate, innovation and the resilience of regional communities.

The conference showcased a great range of insights: from the lofty heights of peak bodies like the National Farmers ‘Federation, the Business Council of Australia; interesting perspectives from public sector leaders like Chief Scientist and the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation and local government and community leadership from regional cities like Albury and Dubbo. Naturally, the issue of housing came up in relation to skills shortages and general affordability concerns. 

Readers may be interested in other RAI research including the Regional Movers Index Report which, for the March-June 2022 quarter, showed early signs that migration from capitals to regions is moderating from the record flows experienced in 2020 and 2021.

For more information on Shelter NSW’s work with the RAI please see our Regional Housing Need report or contact Senior Policy Officer, Cathy Callaghan on or 0407 067 587.