Snapshot shows the progress of Australia's regions

Media Release


23 December 2015

New information about the progress of our regions is available in the second edition of Progress in Australian Regions—Yearbook 2015, released by the Australian Government today.

The Progress in Australian Regions report uses social, economic, environmental and governance indicators to chart local and national trends.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the report reveals trends and patterns in regional areas that are sometimes hidden when reviewing national trends alone.

“Regional progress, population growth, economic expansion and the increasing demand for transport continue to be among the most important issues driving public policy development,” Mr Truss said.

“Governments, private organisations and the community will be able to use the information in this publication to identify trends that can inform policy development and investment.”

Mr Truss said the report showed there had been progress in many domains—including outcomes in international trade, health and the development of skills of young people.

“Regional Australians are becoming more internationally connected. The value of freight though regional and remote ports grew at rates that rival ports in major cities, with a total increase of $65 billion.

“Outside of the major cities, port activity was highly concentrated in the iron ore ports in Port Hedland and Dampier in northern Western Australia.

“The health of people in regional Australia continues to improve in some key indicators; overall, life expectancy increased by 0.8 years to 82.1 years.” Mr Truss said.

“Almost all regions in Australia saw an increase in life expectancy between 2007 and 2013.

“In education, assessments based on the National Assessment Program—Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) show the proportion of students at or above national minimum reading standards is now improving.

“Younger Australians are also earning or learning more compared to a decade ago, with 73.1 per cent of 15–24 year olds either working or studying.

“South East Tasmania saw the strongest growth in young people earning or learning between 2001 and 2011, with an increase of 5.0 percentage points.

“The Yearbook reveals these and many more trends to help answer our questions on how our regions are progressing.

“I encourage Australians from across all our regions to take a look at the data online.”

Progress in Australian Regions: Yearbook 2015 is available to access online at: