Northern Tasmania was a case study for nationwide regional development when a parliamentary inquiry came to Launceston on Wednesday, analysing the success of the City Deal and the Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails.
Chaired by South Australian Labor MHR Tony Pasin, a group of regional MHRs listened to the experiences of Dorset Council, the Northern Tasmania Development Corporation and the Van Diemen Project.
Dorset Council general manager Tim Watson told the inquiry of how the Blue Derby project was able to revitalise the state's North East without relying on government grants.
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He said when the idea was first floated in 2012, Derby had one business left and was at risk of dying out as a town, but now the amount of investment flowing the area was "phenomenal" with well over 100 jobs created.
Mr Watson said it was an example of how people with a passion and an idea could forge their own way.
MHRs discussed how there were likely to be countless similar ideas across regional Australia, but these projects were often overlooked in grants schemes where they were made to compete against each other for funds.
Participants also discussed how the inflexibility of grants could often act as a handbrake for projects developing.
Mr Pasin said it was clear that making decisions from Canberra was not always getting the best results.
"What I'm hearing you say is to allow decision makers close to the action make these ... calls, limit where you can the inflexibility around these programs, and support this infrastructure that's in the form of social capital," he said.
Nationals MHR Damian Drum said the Launceston City Deal was a success story and other regional leaders across the country were envious of the opportunities it was opening up.
NTDC's Sue Kilpatrick said it had shown the potential for three levels of government to work together, but there were still inefficiencies in seeing projects progress.
"Some of the buckets of money were a bit too tied down," she said.