Decentralisation is the strategic development in existing urban or regional “growth centres” to stem the growth in congested business districts into areas with larger capacities for growth. In New South Wales, the government has shown inclination for such schemes across regional NSW with the Urban Taskforce and the Evocities campaigns and within Sydney with a “city of cities” focus of the Sydney Metropolitan Strategy.

Case Study: Dubbo

Dubbo is an interesting case for decentralisation as it is one of the most isolated regional cities in NSW. Since it is external to other factors, such as the proximity to other large cities, and has been targeted in the Evocities campaign as having significant potential for growth, it is an ideal case study selection.


    Central District Structure Plan (Dubbo City Council)

As shown above, there is a significant amount of potential for growth within the existing urban area, with most of the housing presently concentrated within the central precinct. Dubbo provides the opportunity to own quality housing for much less cost while also providing many of the career and lifestyle opportunities that are available in the larger cities. The problem in implementing this strategy lies in attracting people to Dubbo.

Decentralisation has been identified as a major priority on both urban and regional scales. However, the current initiatives to promote developments of this kind are insufficient. From the housing preferences survey it was found that this type of housing does not rank very highly. Decentralisation is the development with the best potential to spread the projected growth out if Sydney and across regional New South Wales. As shown by the Dubbo case study, regional cities can have an enormous amount of growth capacity. However, to make it work it is likely that significant amounts of government funding would be required to create the services to attract new residents into these regional cities.