The concept of speaking with one voice was the driver to establish RDA Committees across Australia.
An Australian Government initiative from Regional Development Australia, there is now a national network of 55 committees made up of local leaders who advocate in the best interest of their region.
RDA Hunter was established in 2009 and its aim is to consistently and strategically pursue a vision of sustainable economic growth and diversification in the region, coupled with community wellbeing.
RDA Hunter Chair, Gaye Hart, said that they work with other regional organisations to make submissions to relevant panels and reviews in order to influence the content of state and national policies and gain support for regional priorities.
“We champion not only the geographic, location and infrastructure comparative advantages of the region but also the need for more investment into the Hunter,” Gaye said.
“We highlight the need for better physical infrastructure and connectivity, and for improved productivity, efficiency and innovative responsiveness to global changes.”
RDA Hunter were strong advocates for an early roll out of high speed broadband in the region and were pleased with the 2012 Federal government announcement that large parts of Lake Macquarie, Newcastle and Maitland would be part of the early roll out plan.
“The availability of high speed broadband will help strengthen the environment for innovation,” Gaye said.
“It will encourage the expansion of smart infrastructure and sustainable technologies which promote water and energy efficiency, and the take up of cleaner and greener technologies as well as research, education and creative industries.”
RDA Hunter is governed by a board of 11 directors whose role it is to ensure ongoing consultation with the local community, leading to informed regional planning to assist in the economic development of the Hunter region.
There is a team of six staff, led by CEO Todd Williams since 2010.
“I was starting my career about the time this region was moving away from our dominant industrial roots and I saw what I believed were, and are today, outstanding opportunities for our region and individuals,” Todd said.
“I have the challenging but very satisfying task of helping to bring together the diverse interests of the Hunter into cohesive strategies that enable this exceptional region to present the best possible case for development opportunities.”
RDA Hunter promotes investment in the region's changing industry profile through its annual Investment Prospectus and the Innovation Scorecard.