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April 2012 Newsletter

Friday 27th of April 2012

Welcome From The Chair

Mal Peters, Chair

Dear Fellow Northern Inland Residents,

 

Those of us who choose to live in this spectacular part of the world are a lucky bunch. We have a diverse population and industry base, a great lifestyle, safe streets for our kids and the freshest air you can breathe. However, we are still faced by constant challenges that our city cousins don’t need to worry about. The ‘Sustaining Rural Communities Conference’ that was held in Narrabri this month focused specifically on how our rural and regional communities can handle and address these challenges. The Hon Simon Crean MP was the keynote speaker and it was a joy to hear from so many passionate people.

 

Building the skills and capacity of people in Australia’s regions is vital if we are to collectively manage and take advantage of the opportunities these new challenges offer.

 

Mal Peters, Chair

 

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Skilled Migration Assistance

The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) will be introducing a raft of changes on July 1 this year, making the assistance that RDANI offers regarding the skilled migration process particularly important.

 

Some of the proposed changes include increasing the upper age limit; changes to the English Language skills requirements and the introduction of a consolidated sponsored occupation list to replace the Employer Nomination Skilled Occupation List and the State Skilled Occupation List.

 

RDANI, as a Regional Certifying Body, has assisted a plethora of local businesses in employing staff from abroad when appropriately skilled workers could not be found locally.

 

Trade and Investment NSW provides RDANI with financial support to help raise awareness of skilled migration and its place in the regional workforce. RDANI often runs free seminars for employers and offers all manner of assistance free of charge. However there is a fee for the certification of visas.

 

For more information on skilled migration please visit www.rdani.org.au or contact Senior Project Officer Kim Hastings on 0427 008 572 or via email khastings@rdani.org.au

 

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Carbon Farming Handbook

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The newly released Carbon Farming handbook will provide a wealth of information to landholders, farmers, waste operators and other clean energy businesses wanting to participate in the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI). The handbook sets out how landholders and farmers can improve their land and farm sustainability while also generating carbon credits that can be sold in domestic and international markets.

 

The CFI, which opened for business in December 2011, encourages farmers, land owners, local governments and other stakeholders to generate extra revenue by reducing agricultural and landfill waste pollution.

 

Several methodologies are already approved under the CFI, including flaring landfill gas, methane in piggeries, planting native tree species and reducing pollution from savannah fires.

 

With the serious risks associated with climate change threatening the future of Australian Agriculture and food production, farmers and landholders have an important role to play in our nation’s clean energy future by increasing the land sector’s resilience to climate change and improving long term farm productivity.

 

To download a free copy of the Carbon Farming Handbook, please go to www.climatechange.gov.au

 

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Regional E-Learning Partnerships Announced

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Stimulus funding has been awarded to 10 regional partnerships to support e-learning opportunities for workforce development to assist with skills shortages across Australia. Sharing in over $300,000 in funding, these partnerships will support key industries including tourism, nursing, retail, fire services, construction, food, agriculture and conservation, natural resources and land management.

 

Made possible through funding from the National VET E-learning Strategy, the Industry System Change Business Activity will support workforce development in industry through innovative training solutions and the utilisation of high speed internet.

 

As part of this business activity, Regional Businesses Programs aim to develop and deliver e-learning initiatives that meet local needs by focusing on partnerships between rural, regional and remotely located businesses and registered training organisations. The outcome will be a more skilled and highly developed workforce for regional Australia.

 

These Regional Partnerships will pilot quality e-learning with local employers and produce modes of e-learning for regional workforce development. Many of the regional sites include current of future NBN locations.

 

For more information about the Regional E-learning Partnerships please visit www.flexiblelearning.net.au

 

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Current Regional Issues

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Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) has introduced a new section to its website that will outline current issues and hot topics that have a direct effect on the Northern Inland region and its residents.

 

This section of the website will contain informative articles, data and will cover a wide range of topics from the impact of mining on our communities to the importance of youth employment and everything in between.

 

The first topic available on the site is ‘The Northern Inland Economy – What does it look like and how can we grow it?’ The article can be found at http://www.rdani.org.au/our-region/current-regional-issues/the-northern-inland-economy.php and outlines the highlights of the Northern Inland economy, the issues facing the local economy and creative solutions to any problems that may be faced.

 

This section of the website will be updated regularly and if you have any suggestions for a hot topic facing the region we’d love to hear it. Please send any suggestions you may have to rdani@rdani.org.au

 

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Digital TV Switchover

In many areas of Northern NSW, analogue TV will be switched off on 27 November 2012. When analogue TV is switched off, free-to-air TV will be broadcast in digital only.

 

To assist those who may face financial difficulty in undertaking the switchover, the Household Assistance Scheme will provide free assistance to help undertake the switchover.

 

The Household Assistance Scheme will provide assistance such as a set-top box, cabling or an antenna, either satellite or terrestrial to eligible residents on a full age, disability, veterans or carers pension who have not yet connected to digital TV.

 

For more information about the Household Assistance Scheme please get in touch with your local Centrelink Office.

 

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Grants, Funding Opportunities and Tenders

As RDANI has access to a plethora of grants and funding opportunities, as of this month, there will be a new Grants Portal on our website which can be found here http://www.rdani.org.au/our-region/grants-and-funding-opportunities.php

 

This page will highlight a selection of the funding opportunities available as well as provide further resources on how to find the appropriate grant. The new portal will inform communities, businesses and industries within the region of the many government, business and philanthropic grants available.

 

Tenders
Tendering is becoming a vital part of how many businesses in the Northern Inland operate on a day to day basis. RDANI would like to highlight the many sources of Tender information available.

 

Both state and federal governments often have projects open for tender. For more information on NSW State Government Tenders please go to https://tenders.nsw.gov.au for further information on Federal Government Tenders please go to www.tenders.gov.au

 

Commercial tenders are also becoming more popular. For more information on the commercial tendering process please go to www.tenderlink.com or www.tenders.com.au

 

The Industry Capability Network (ICN) creates opportunity for New South Wales and Australian industry.

If you are developing a supply chain and need a competitive local source of supply, ICN can help.

 

ICN bridges the information gap between buyers and sellers by advising on:

  • supply chain development
  • import replacement
  • local industry capability and capacity

For more information please go to http://www.icn.org.au

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