RAI aims to create index measuring regional competitiveness

ONE of the problems facing regional areas around the country is accessing an understanding data about regions, but a solution to measuring how competitive different regions are could be on the horizon.

The Regional Australia Institute has sought members and community leaders to come on board with their suggestions on how to create a "regional competitiveness index".

Institute chief executive Su McCluskey wrote to members, saying the index could be a way of accurately measuring everything about a local region - from institutions like universities to human capital and natural resources.

The index would measure several broad issues, including: natural resource management, food security, population policy, mobile workforces, the two-speed economy and how national policy affects regional Australia.

Ms McCluskey wrote the new index would draw on the success of other projects, such as the World Economic Forum's global competitiveness report - but applying those issues to Australia's regions.

It would measure 66 different social, economic and environmental indicators, to create a single national data set of every non-metropolitan local government area in the country.

The institute plans to release the final index early next year, and was seeking advice this month on the proposal.

For more information head to regionalaustralia.org.au.