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April 2011 Newsletter

In This Issue

Welcome From The Chair

Mal Peters, Chair

Dear fellow Northern Inland Residents,

What an exciting time to be living and working in Regional Australia! We have a brand new state government who are committed to the development and growth of regional communities and the federal government’s Regional Development Australia Fund is set to have a huge economic and social impact on regional communities. If Mohammed could move mountains then now is certainly the time that Regional Development Australia Northern Inland could make governments in Sydney and Canberra move on issues facing our communities.

This month we also welcome a new member to the RDANI team. Jessica Price-Purnell has taken on the role of Project Officer and will be working on many projects that affect our region.

Jessica has a background and qualifications in marketing and communications and we are thrilled to have her on our team.

Mal Peters, Chair

Regional Development Australia Fund – Round One Applications Close 13th May 2011

The Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF) is a federally funded government initiative valued at $1.4 billion and its sole purpose is to enhance the economic growth and liveability of Australia’s regional communities.

Grants under the RDAF are available for projects valued between $500,000 and $25 million and they must show long lasting social and economic benefits to regional communities.

The closing date for the first round of funding applications is fast approaching. If you are submitting an application for funding, and have not yet received a letter of endorsement from a Regional Development Australia (RDA) Committee, we must receive your proposal by close of business Friday 6th May 2011 for perusal. If you have already received a letter of endorsement from an RDA Committee then your application must be submitted via SMARTForm http://gms.infrastructure.gov.au/ by close of business Friday 13th May 2011.

Guidelines and frequently asked questions about the RDAF can be found at www.rdani.org.au

If you have any questions regarding the RDAF please call our office on (02) 6771 2790 or email rdani@rdani.org.au

NBN Explained

Are you confused as to what the rollout of the NBN will mean for you and your business? There will two workshops held in the Northern Inland so people can gain an insight into what the NBN can offer. These workshops are being co hosted by Industry Capability Network (ICN), Regional Development Australia - Northern Inland (RDANI), The Armidale BEC - NENW Business Advisory Services, Inverell Shire Council, Inverell Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Glen Innes Severn Council.

NBN Co will also be in attendance at the Inverell workshop to answer any questions relating to the NBN rollout and what it can mean for you or your business.

The workshops will contain a presentation made by Alun Davies, head of the NBN Work Group New England and will explain the benefits the NBN will have for regional communities across Australia.

The first workshop will be held on May 24th in Inverell at the RSM Club and the second will be held on June 1st in Glen Innes at the Glen Innes Learning Centre Conference Room. To RSVP to attend one of these free workshops please contact NSW Industry and Investment on (02) 6771 3284

Town Success Story - Bingara and the Roxy Theatre

In each newsletter, commencing this month, we will include a ‘Town Success Story’. These stories will demonstrate how communities in Regional Australia pull together to get things done. These stories may come from the Northern Inland Region or beyond. If you have a town success story you would like to share, please email it to rdani@rdani.org.au.

Our first town success story is about Bingara and the work the community there put in to an old theatre called the Roxy.

The Roxy Theatre was built in 1936 and ran as a theatre and later a movie cinema until 1958. After laying dormant and in a state of disrepair for 40 years, the residents of Bingara banded together to raise funds and restore the Roxy to its former glory. The Roxy is now a stunning example of original Art Deco architecture and design. The Roxy is now a multipurpose cinema and performing arts venue with the North West Theatre Company taking residence there. It is also available for functions and conferences.

On the weekend of 9th-10th April 2011, the residents of Bingara and the Gwydir Shire Community as a whole, celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Roxy’s original opening night as well as the grand re-opening of the original Greek café and museum. The restoration of the Roxy brought the residents of Bingara together and their hard work is now a central attraction in the main street of town.

New England Food and Wine Showcase

On Sunday April 17th 2011, food and wine producers from across the Northern Inland braved the cold and drizzle to show their wares in Cinders Lane, Armidale. Despite the inclement weather, there was a great turnout there to sample some of the best food and wine Australia has to offer. There was fantastic, award winning coffee from Inland Fine Foods to keep everyone warm, great music and some lovely wines and locally distilled spirits to ward off the chill too.

It was a great way to showcase the diverse range of food and wine on offer from the region ranging from cold climate wines to potato vodka, jams and relishes, beef, lamb, trout products, gourmet breads, pastries and pastas, strawberries, olives and tomatoes.

It was also an opportunity to showcase the newly formed New England Wine Industry Association (NEWIA) in a public arena. President of the NEWIA, Mr Andrew Close of Mihi Creek Wines said ‘it was a fantastic event to showcase what we in the New England can do. It was a great opportunity to talk about our products’.

Murray Darling Basin Update

The RDA-NI Murray Darling Basin (MDB) project will facilitate a coordinated approach in our region to the water reform process. The Project aligns the objective of new MDB Authority Chairman Craig Knowles to utilise local expertise for the new MDB Plan, with the RDA-NI objective of maintaining the economic integrity of the region. To achieve this, RDA-NI MDB Project Officer David Thompson is working with two Water Working Groups – one in the Namoi, and one in the Border Rovers-Gwydir to devise and seek funding for relevant projects. These Water Working Groups bring together all the local scientific and economic expertise to bear on the problem of better water management, and have access to panels of local technical expertise.

Projects will cover a number of aspects of water planning and regional economic development. This includes collating detailed local information on environmental assets and their watering requirements to inform the national MDB Plan, implementation of on-ground works to service assets and improve water use efficiency, socio-economic impact assessment of water planning, and economic development initiatives to offset any loss of productive water as a result of plans.

The ultimate objective of the project is to work with regional agencies to provide a uniform stance for the region on the water reform process, and conduct a coordinated suite of projects to deliver the required environmental outcomes while maintaining and/or enhancing the economic integrity of our northern-inland region.

Available Grants and Funding Opportunities

Enter your descriptionRDANI has access to information concerning all manner of community grants and funding opportunities. A comprehensive list of these 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.

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.

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