The 2017 Developing Northern Australia Conference will be held next month at the Pullman Cairns International Hotel over 19-20 June.

Professor Hurriyet Babacan, CEO of the Tablelands Regional Council joins us in Cairns to discuss ‘Investing in the ‘Social’ in Northern Australia’.

There is universal agreement that strong, resilient and healthy individuals, families and community play a vital role in building ongoing prosperity, wellbeing and economic development. It has been demonstrated that long term economic growth in the regions occurs through investment in human capital development (OECD, 2012).  Northern Australia faces significant spatial and social disadvantage within its diverse populations.

Ms Hurriyet Babacan

This is accompanied by under investment in health, human services and social infrastructure.  While Northern Australia continues to experience strong growth in the planning capacity of its economic and natural resource sectors, the social and human services sectors have been not adequately supported at a strategic level.  There is a dynamic inter-relationship between inequity, social capital, human services and broader regional and economic development.  Developing Northern Australia will require multi-dimensional approaches and neglecting the human dimension will have serious long term negative consequences.

Failing to invest in the ‘social’ will have detrimental impacts on sustainable communities, the development of vibrant economies, and result in reduced effectiveness to capitalize on 21st century knowledge economy. The presentation will conclude with some suggestions for the future.

For more information on the 2017 Developing Northern Australia Conference and to secure your spot, please visit