Working with regions is a step in the right direction The Grattan Institute report on Investing in regions is timely as both Federal and Victorian governments grapple with challenges of a ‘two speed’ or ‘patchwork’ economy and metropolitan transport and planning problems arising from rapid population growth. The report takes an unapologetic economic stance, and implicitly accepts that the benefits of agglomeration economics (economic growth) outweigh the costs. Its findings suggest that market forces should be left to ‘get on with it’. Social, civic and environmental returns are key components of liveability. They are the reason people are moving to coastal cities and ‘bolting’ regions. It is up to governments to make sure that economics does not drown these out. Common sense confirms Grattan’s main conclusion: that government spending will not produce the same return regardless of where it is spent.