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April 2015 Newsletter

In this Issue:

Welcome from the Chair

Dear Northern Inlanders,

It’s been another busy month as I head around the region meeting key stakeholders in Local Government and industry. As we seek feedback and travel around the region it is apparent that our communities are seeking economic development and employment opportunities, particularly those that will afford our young people the ability to stay in the region.

We recently held a strategic planning day in Bingara to discuss the focus of our projects over the next 12-18 months and we look forward to telling you more about these once final sign-off is complete.

I was also buoyed by the large number of high calibre applications to join the Regional Development Australia Northern Inland committee – there is no shortage of talent and knowledge in our region. These new Committee members will commence in the coming months and we look forward to sharing their names with you soon.

As always, if you have any ideas for practical projects that will contribute to economic diversification and jobs in our region, please get in touch.


Russell Stewart, Chair

New Regional Development Chair Goes West

Newly appointed Chair of Regional Development Australia Northern Inland, Russell Stewart, has gone west and convened his first committee meeting as Chair, in Wee Waa. The location was chosen as an indication of the committee’s commitment to the entire region and in recognition of Narrabri Shire’s significant contribution to the region’s economic output.

Chair, Russell Stewart said the meeting, which was held at the Wee Waa bowling Club on March 24th, focused on the organisation’s new direction as well as providing an opportunity for existing Committee members to meet him face to face. “There is a lot going on around the Narrabri Shire and this was a great chance for the other committee members to experience first-hand the potential we have for increased economic growth right across the region. Our new mantra is all about economic development and jobs.”

The committee received a presentation from Bill Birch at Narrabri Shire Council, providing a snapshot of recent developments across the Shire as well as holding an informal lunch with several Councillors including Deputy Mayor Cathy Redding and Chamber of Commerce President, Ann-Maree Galagher. ““The Northern Inland is a large and diverse region and it was a valuable experience for our committee members and staff to hear about the economic activity out here,” Mr Stewart said.

Mr Stewart said it is critical for Regional Development Australia Northern Inland to cement a solid, ongoing working partnership with our 13 Local Councils, as well as all forms of industry and the wider community.
“I believe our Northern Inland region is the most outstanding region in Australia and we intend to work towards securing the best there is to offer for the entire region. Local, solid relationships will be the key to success during my term, and I look forward to hearing from anyone keen to work with us, to develop practical tools to work on the healthy growth of our region,” he said.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) have released new population figures, including information at the Local Government Area (LGA) level (see here). The data covers changes from 2013 to 2014, and also change over the ten year period from 2004 to 2014.

“For our Northern Inland region, these statistics reveal that over the 10 year period, our population has grown by 9,329 people or 5.3%. However across our 13 LGAs, changes in population have been very uneven,” said Regional Development Australia Northern Inland Senior Project Officer David Thompson.

LGAs with population increases include:

  • Tamworth 11.8% (6,384 people)
  • Uralla 8.9% (523)
  • Gunnedah 7.9% (934)
  • Inverell 7.2% (1,138)
  • Guyra 6.1% (266)
  • Tenterfield 5% (330)
  • Armidale 4.8% (1,156)
  • Glen Innes 1% (90)
  • Liverpool Plains 0.3% (22)

Population declined in the following LGAs:

  • Gwydir -7.5% (-412)
  • Moree -6.2% (-936)
  • Walcha -4.5% (-146)
  • Narrabri -0.1% (-20)

Over the 12 month period 2013-14, the picture was somewhat different.  LGAs with population increases include:

  • Tamworth 1.3% (790)
  • Gunnedah 1.1% (140)
  • Uralla 1% (66)
  • Liverpool Plains 0.7% (57)
  • Inverell 0.7% (121)
  • Glen Innes 0.7% (62)
  • Narrabri 0.6% (81)
  • Tenterfield 0.1% (8)

Population declined in the following LGAS:

  • Moree -1.1% (-156)
  • Gwydir -0.5% (-23)
  • Guyra -0.3% (-15)
  • Walcha -0.3% (-10)
  • Armidale -0.2% (-45)

“Some Northern Inland councils have expressed concern the figures may contain inaccuracies, so it’s important to take population growth rates and census data with a grain of salt,” Mr Thompson said.

National Stronger Regions Fund (NSRF) Round Two

The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development has announced that the opening of NSRF Round Two will be delayed. This delay is to ensure applicants are notified of the outcome of Round One before NSRF Round Two is opened.

Behavioural Change Can Mean More Than Pocket Change

"When it comes to sustainability and increasing your energy efficiency, little and seemingly obvious energy efficiency measures can add up to make a huge difference, in the short and long-terms,” advised RDANI Energy Efficiency Education Officer with the Northern Lights Project, Peter Stanley.

The following tips may appear obvious but are often overlooked:

  • Unplug items you rarely use.
  • Unplug your televisions/VCR, stereos, clocks, cordless vacuums and small appliances when you're away on vacation. Many items draw power even when they're turned off.
  • Turn off lights and appliances when not in use. Remember to turn off your computer, or use the sleep setting.
  • Turn down the brightness on your TV and computer monitor. You may not notice the difference but your electricity bill will.
  • Keep lights and lighting fixtures clean, especially if you're reducing the number of lights you use. Dirt absorbs light. Let lights cool before cleaning them and never touch halogen bulbs with your bare hands. The oil from your skin can greatly damage the bulbs. Use a small piece of paper to hold the bulb.
  • Dress according to the weather and the season.
  • Close foundation vents in the winter months.
  • If your air conditioning unit is on the ground, keep the area around it clean and free of obstructions to maintain airflow. Vacuuming air conditioner and furnace filters can help increase efficiency between filter replacements.
  • Take full advantage of your window coverings. In the summer, close blinds and drapes during the day to keep heat out. In the winter, open window coverings on the sunny side of your home to take advantage of free heat from the sun. Close the coverings on cloudy days or right after the sun sets to keep the heat in.

Small Business Friendly Councils Conference Networking Event

The Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner is staging a Small Business Friendly Councils Conference Networking Event. This is an opportunity to meet and network with participating Small Business Friendly Councils and other business minded organisations following the Small Business Friendly Councils Conference.

Tuesday 5 May 2015
5.30pm – 6.30pm
Quality Hotel Powerhouse
New England Highway (Armidale Road), Tamworth
RSVP sbf.councils@smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au

Grants and Funding Opportunities

Scholarships to Boost Young Country Artistic Talent
Applications Close: 11th of June 2015

The State Government has created a new scheme to develop young artistic talent through a country scholarship program. The government has invested in 100 scholarship grants valued at $10,000 each, available for 18-to-25 year olds living in country NSW.

Applications for 25 NSW Young Regional Artist Scholarships are now open until 11 June 2015.
Talented local artists and arts workers from any art form, including dance, design, digital arts, history, Aboriginal arts, literature, music, theatre, screen and the visual arts are encouraged to apply for this opportunity.

The scholarships are available to fund activities including mentorships or internships, residencies, short-term courses and workshops, travel and the creation of new work.

The new scholarships are designed to help unlock the potential of young artists and arts workers living in country areas.

For more information or to apply for a NSW Young Regional Artists Scholarship, visit: www.arts.nsw.gov.au

AMP Foundation’s Tomorrow Fund
Applications Close: 14th of May 2015

The AMP Foundation’s Tomorrow Fund is offering $1 million in grants to help Australians who are doing great things.

Now in its second year, the Fund targets Australians who are working hard to make a difference in their chosen field - whether artists, inventors, social innovators, musicians, researchers or others - offering them a financial boost for their projects.

AMP’s Director of Media and Community Relations Julia Quinn said AMP wanted to support talented and determined Australians working hard across all fields of endeavour.

Grant recipients can put their funds towards a range of activities, including training, travel costs, living expenses, research and development. “Our AMP Tomorrow Makers are as diverse as Australia itself and what they share is a desire to make a positive difference in the community, either by creating something special or inspiring others”.

The AMP Tomorrow Fund is open to individuals of all ages, walks of life, interests and abilities who are working hard on a project or passion but need help to take it to the next level.

AMP’s Tomorrow Fund wants to remove barriers by giving out grants of between $10,000 and $100,000 to help with costs such as travel, living expenses and research – or whatever it takes to achieve their dream.

Applications for the AMP Tomorrow Fund are open now and will close at 4pm on 14 May 2015. Applications can be made here.

Aboriginal Benefits Foundation
Applications are Ongoing

The Foundation provides grants to assist Aboriginal communities and individuals by providing funds to support projects which advance the aims of the Foundation, with the current focus on supporting art, health and cultural projects with a connection to Aboriginal art and/or artists. Find out more on their website at www.aboriginal.org.au/grants.htm.

What’s On in the Northern Inland

Australian Celtic Festival
Thursday 30th of April to Sunday 3rd of May
Glen Innes

Quirindi Rural Heritage Village Machinery and Miniature Railway Rally
Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd of May

Killarney Bike Classic
Sunday 3rd of May

The Great Nundle Dog Race
Sunday 3rd of May

Youth Opportunities Expo
Thursday 7th of May

2015 Australian Stock Horse Society National Championships
Friday 8th to Saturday 16th May

Moree on a Plate
Saturday 9th of May

Annual Outdoor Quilt Airing
Sunday 10th of May (Mother’s Day)

Who’d A Thought It Quirindi Music Festival
Friday 15th to Sunday 17th of May

Barraba Rams - Celebrating Fifty Years of Rugby
Saturday 16th May

Coolatai Village Tractor Pull
Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th May

Shannons Country Classic Motor Show
Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th May

New England Yard Dog Championship Trial
Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th May

52nd Currabubula Red Cross Art Exhibition & Sales
Thursday 21st and to Sunday 24th of May

2015 NCHA Futurity
Tuesday 26th May to Sunday 7th June

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