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February 2011 Newsletter

Friday 11th of February 2011

Welcome From The Chair

Mal Peters - RDA-NI Chair

Dear Fellow Northern Inland Residents,

 

Welcome to the inaugural Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) monthly newsletter. Those of us who have chosen to live in this wonderful region are all concerned to ensure Northern Inland NSW remains a great place to live and work. We need services and facilities equivalent to those enjoyed by city people while making sure those less fortunate are also looked after.

 

Equally, we want to ensure our communities grow and provide employment opportunities for our young people so they are given a choice to stay rather than being forced to move to metropolitan and coastal centres. Our organisation, RDANI, is totally committed to achieving these aims as demonstrated in our regional plan, however we are aware that people will from time to time have better ideas and ways of achieving these goals. This monthly newsletter is about making sure you are aware of what we are doing and prompting you to contact us with your ideas and initiatives.

 

Mal Peters, Chair

 

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Driving Regional NSW ‐ Blueprint Unveiled

Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) has today unveiled its Regional Plan aimed at putting Northern Inland NSW on the map.

 

RDANI Chairman Mal Peters says the Regional Plan has been developed after extensive local community consultations and research that identified where Northern Inland NSW needs to improve services and grow, in order to retain and attract new residents and businesses.

 

“We want people to choose Northern Inland NSW as a great place to work and live, and this plan sets a path to improve the services and facilities our region can offer,” Mr Peters said

 

“We need to make sure our area has plenty of jobs and community facilities equivalent to Australia’s best; such as health, education and transport and a vibrant included Aboriginal community.

 

“Regional Development Australia Northern Inland aims to achieve these goals working in collaboration with governments and existing community groups in the region over the next 2 years and beyond in unfolding its Regional Plan. This document is not about the problems we have, but provides the solutions to governments and regional groups to help drive our region forward,” Mr Peters said. The Regional Plan identifies six key areas to move forward and improve northern NSW. These are:

 

  • Regeneration of regional communities;
  • Value Adding Enterprise Clusters;
  • Integrated and improved health care;
  • Investment in Infrastructure and Education;
  • Re‐engaging Aboriginal communities; and
  • Environmental achievement.

 

“Both State and Commonwealth Governments will use the plan to help determine funding allocation into the region,” Mr Peters said. According to Mr Peters, all levels of government must work cohesively towards policy which seeks to reverse centralist thinking and promote regional Australia as the great place to work and live that it is. “Sydney is combating overcrowding and over development. In the country we are seeking more population, more jobs and more development. There is a great opportunity for all levels of government to collaborate for the win‐win situations,” Mr Peters said.

“I am very confident that this comprehensive, well researched Regional Plan will provide a strong foundation for Northern Inland NSW, so we can boast all the services and facilities everyone desires,” Mr Peters concluded.

 

The RDANI Regional Plan is available for download and comment on their website at www.rdani.org.au.

 

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Simon Crean Hears Local Concerns On MDBP In Narrabri

The Minister for Regional Australia, Simon Crean took on board local concerns at a meeting in Narrabri in December over the Murray Darling Basin Authority’s Draft Guide to the Proposed Basin Plan. In conjunction with Regional Development Australia – Northern Inland (RDANI), Minister Crean met with key stakeholders from a cross-section of local communities, industry, research, CMAs and Local Government bodies to hear first-hand the potential negative impacts of the proposed Basin Plan on local economies, communities and businesses.

“The Federal Government is committed to consulting and I have discussed water usage in the Murray Darling Basin in 8 centres already - from Dubbo in NSW to Murray Bridge in South Australia,” Minister Crean said.

“I have enjoyed visiting Narrabri and holding discussions with the Regional Development Australia Northern Inland committee and other key stakeholders to hear about local issues and local views.

 

In the two hour session, The Minister heard views from irrigators, CMAs, farmers, business owners, Local Councils and others ranging from flaws in the science and modeling, to adverse effects on local economies communities and jobs. He challenged the region to develop an environmental, business and social plan in response to the Proposed Basin Plan. Minister Crean said the region should demonstrate how it will respond to a future with reduced water.

 

RDANI Chairman Mal Peters said his organisation will accept the challenge and will build on the excellent work already done by groups such as the Namoi Water Working Group and establish a similar group in the northern part of the region.

 

“Our region has significant scientific capacity with Namoi and Border Rivers Gwydir CMAs, the Cotton CRC and the University of New England. Together with other peak bodies, we will develop a regional approach that will ensure we have a healthy river system. The aim will be to protect important environmental assets without affecting our business and social capacity,” Mr Peters said.

 

“The project will require significant resources and I am confident that when completed, it will be the instrument the Government will utilise to decide how water resources are used in the region. Rather than wait for Governments to provide the answers, we will provide the Government with how our region will respond to sustainable water use using the best science available today.

 

“Minister Crean has offered this region a great opportunity to demonstrate our capacity to solve our own problems in a responsible manner and RDANI intends making sure the process becomes a significant opportunity to grow our region rather than allow it to be a negative,” Mr Peters said.

 

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High Demand For Skilled Migrant Workers

Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) invites skilled migrants to enjoy the lifestyle of regional Australia by applying for sponsorship to live and work in the Northern Inland region under the individual Skilled - Regional (Provisional) Sponsored Visa Scheme (SRS) or the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) which enables regional employers to sponsor skilled migrants for skilled positions which cannot be filled using the local labour market.

 

The Regional Skilled Migration Attraction project is funded by Industry & Investment NSW and has been offered in the Northern Inland region for the past 3 years. This programme gives local employers the option of nominating an overseas skilled worker when the position cannot be filled locally. Since the inception of this project a large number of employers have used this programme to assist in the expansion and diversification of their business as well as the regional economy.

 

RDANI is the only certifying body for employer sponsored visa applications in the New England North West. The demand is clear and local businesses continue to be restricted by labour shortages. When employers cannot meet their business’ needs with local labour, then skilled migration is a viable option and has proved to be vital for a number of the region’s industries in recent years.

 

Regional employers are invited to explore the options available through RDANI in attracting suitable skilled employees into the region. These options include assistance in identifying suitably skilled persons within the region’s own labour market or within the local Australian labour market. Additionally, if no suitably skilled potential employees can be located within Australia then the Skilled Overseas Migration Programme may provide another option to solve recruitment problems.

 

Australian resident jobseekers from within and outside the region are invited to inquire through RDANI for assistance to locate suitable employment available in the region. RDANI Committee has contact with local employers and employment and development organisations which may be of assistance to find suitable employment.

 

Skilled Overseas jobseekers who wish to migrate to Australia may also be assisted to be put in contact with employers willing to provide sponsorship under the various Skilled Overseas which may also be able to provide information and assistance about your inquiry.

 

Further information on RDANI’s Skilled Migration Program is available by contacting 02 6771 0700.

 

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Available Grants & Funding Opportunities

RDANI holds information on many grants available to community groups. The following are just a few current grants and funding opportunities available. Please use the links for more information and relevant grant guidelines and applications. Further information on community grants can be found at www.grantslink.gov.au.

 

Information on how to write funding applications as well as how to run your project, can be found at www.communitybuilders.nsw.gov.au.

 

Community Heritage Grants
The Community Heritage Grants (CHG) Program aims to preserve and provide access to locally held, nationally significant cultural heritage collections across Australia. The program provides grant funding of up to $15 000 for preservation projects, and preservation and collection management training through community based workshops. For further information, visit www.nla.gov.au/chg.

 

Enterprise Connect
Enterprise Connect is an Australian Government initiative backed by industry that offers comprehensive advice and support to eligible Australian small and medium sized businesses to help them transform and reach their full potential. Enterprise Connect can make a big difference to eligible Australian small and medium businesses by connecting them to comprehensive independent business advisory services, tailored business support, and a network of resources that draws together the best available knowledge, technology and business practices. Eligible small and medium businesses can request a comprehensive, confidential and independent Business Review at no cost. Enterprise Connect has a national network of industry innovation centres staffed by highly skilled Business Advisers that provide access to specialist expertise and the best available technical and business resources to help you transform your business. For further information, visit www.enterpriseconnect.gov.au.

 

Caring for our Country
Caring for our Country is the Government's new natural resource management program. Caring for our Country is designed as an integrated package with one clear goal, a business approach to investment, clearly articulated outcomes and priorities and improved accountability. It commenced on 1 July 2008 and will integrate delivery of the Commonwealth's existing natural resource management programs, the Natural Heritage Trust, the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality, the National Landcare Program, the Environmental Stewardship Program and the Working on Country Indigenous land and environmental program. For further information, visit www.nrm.gov.au/funding.

 

Country Passenger Transport Infrastructure Grants Scheme (CPTIGS)
The Country Passenger Transport Infrastructure Grants Scheme (CPTIGS) is administered by the Ministry of Transport. It provides support funding to improve the amenity of passenger transport infrastructure in rural, regional and remote communities of NSW. For further information, visit www.transport.nsw.gov.au/cptigs.

 

NSW Regional Business Investment and Development Programs

The New South Wales Department of Industry and Investment (DII) provides a range of special services and programs to assist the regions of NSW meet the challenges that confront them. These challenges are most effectively met through a partnership between government, businesses and communities. As economic conditions change, DII has programs to address both longstanding and emerging economic development issues in regional NSW. For further information, visit www.business.nsw.gov.au.

 

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A Penny For Your Wicked Thoughts!

RDANI are on the lookout for the next generation of leaders and innovative thinkers from across the Northern Inland region who can work with the RDANI Committee and staff to develop projects and maintain contact within our communities. Our focus will be on identifying and developing solutions to the ‘wicked’ problems that face our local communities. ‘Wicked’ problems are:

 

  • Difficult to clearly define;
  • Wicked problems have many interdependencies and are often multi-causal;
  • Attempts to address wicked problems often lead to unforeseen consequences;
  • Wicked problems are often not stable;
  • Wicked problems usually have no clear solution;
  • Wicked problems are socially complex;
  • Wicked problems hardly ever sit conveniently within the responsibility of any one organisation;
  • Wicked problems involve changing behaviour; and
  • Some wicked problems are characterised by chronic policy failure.

 

Places are limited. If you are interested in being involved email us at rdani@rdani.org.au.

 

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