In this section, you can find copies of our recent research and submissions to Government inquiries.



The report presents the findings of research conducted by Regional Development Australia (RDA) Orana into housing provision in the Orana region and Central Darling. The broad purpose of the research was to support the accelerated provision of housing to meet the growing demand and address the urgent housing needs of regional communities.
The report provides knowledgeable insight into housing demand and supply, as well as current and future housing needs for the region. This research will further contribute to the formation and analysis of housing policies and suggest strategies and models that can assist with regional growth in both the near future and longer term.
Some key concerns identified in the study include:-

  • Housing demand is closely linked to population growth, but for much of the recent era growth in demand has outpaced population growth, resulting in housing stress.
  • The severe housing shortage is impacting the region’s attractiveness particularly for workers, contributing to the ongoing labour shortage.
  • The lack of housing diversity along with a shortage of appropriate and affordable rental properties causes major concerns in regional housing markets.
  • The capacity of the local labour force to respond to increased demand for housing, as well as uncertainty surrounding potential demand are key challenges for the region.
  • In more remote locations, there could be substantial challenges in attracting builders and trades.
  • A lot of the existing housing stock is ageing and not fit for use, and this is made worse by the ongoing shortage of trades and builders
  • In some cases, the type of land released to the market does not match demand; eg only releasing large size blocks limits options for smaller and cheaper land
  • Rural and regional markets do not attract large developers due to a range of market barriers including the upfront and ongoing costs of such developments, lack of demand for such a large number of properties in smaller local markets, skilled labour shortages and the scarcity of suitable land.
  • Lack of economies of scale in rural and remote regions generally provides a local barrier to housing supply.
  • Planning and the provision of land for new development can be seen to impede the housing supply process in some regions

A full copy of the report can be downlaoded by clicking the link below:



The Orana Region Bracing for Change represents a concerted effort by RDA Orana to gain a detailed
understanding of the innovation, skills, labour and training needs required by businesses in order to secure the prosperity of the Orana region. The report builds on the existing body of rural and regional business knowledge and aims to develop and support the skills of the future – not just for employees, but also for business owners.
Through focus groups, interviews and an online survey, more than 190 business owners and managers
across 12 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the region took part in the project in 2017. Respondents included government-funded entities and educational institutions.
The survey instrument was developed by RDA Orana and consisted of 69 questions (Annexure – copy
survey). Its purpose was to develop a comprehensive picture of businesses currently and into the future,
including business processes, innovation, infrastructure and human resources (i.e. recruitment, retention and training).
A steering committee helped drive the project and determine its direction. All 190 business and organisations that took part identified as having employees. The majority had one to 10 employees (51.32%), followed by 20 to 99 employees (29.63%). More than half (54.74%) the businesses were privately-owned companies, established for profit.

The goal of the research, coupled with a desktop literature review was to build a detailed understanding of the region’s:

  • export and innovation capacity of businesses
  • current and future workforce demand
  • capacity to meet that demand
  • skill gaps and shortages, now and in five years
  • strategies for recruitment and retention of workers
  • training needs and impediments to work-readiness skills among job seekers.

Setting the scene for this report is the view that the basic needs for a business to develop and grow in
regional communities include:

  • the ability to attract and retain suitably qualified and experienced staff
  • space to develop and grow
  • high speed, reliable internet access
  • available housing
  • community support services, including health, child care and education
  • affordable access to training
  • incentives to choose employment over ongoing dependence on welfare.

Bracing for Change Executive Summary