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April 2016 Newsletter

In this Issue:

Welcome from the Chair

Dear Northern Inlanders,

I hope you enjoyed some quality time with friends and family over the Easter/School Holiday period. It’s great to see our region is vying for a fair slice of funding from Round 3 of the National Stronger Regions Fund. Nine applications from this region is a good effort and you can read more about these below.

We’re also pleased with the release of the Jobs for NSW Assessment Framework; for businesses that require funds for expansion leading to new jobs. Have a look at the below article and get in touch if your business is in this situation.

Enjoy the newsletter and see you next month.


Russell Stewart

National Stronger Regions Fund – Round 3 Contenders

Round three of the National Stronger Regions Fund opened on 15 January, 2016 and closed on 15 March, 2016. Successful applications are expected to be announced in July, 2016. Meanwhile, the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development has released the final list of officially accepted applications.
Round 2 saw $293million in Federal Government funds go to regional areas of Australia for project funding. Local Councils, not-for-profits and relevant public organisations were eligible to apply.

The Northern Inland NSW Applications in the final National Stronger Regions Fund Round 3 list are:

Armidale Dumaresq Council
ADC Regional Airport expansion & land Development

Glen Innes Severn Council
Glen Innes Aggregates Wattle Vale Quarry

Gunnedah Shire Council
Donnelly Fields Sporting Field Upgrade

Gunnedah Shire Council
Gunnedah Sewerage Treatment Plant Upgrade

Liverpool Plains Shire Council
Upgrade the Liverpool Plains Regional Water Supply

Moree Plains Shire Council
Moree Civic Precinct Redevelopment

Narrabri Shire Council
Narrabri CBD Revitalisation Project

Tamworth Regional Council
Northern Inland Centre of Sporting Excellence

Walcha Council
Construction of a water storage for Walcha.

Namoi Freight Study is Good for Local Business

The Namoi Councils Joint Organisation has launched a region-wide transport study to investigate solutions for the freight industry in the New England and North West regions.

The study is focused on the movements of B-doubles and AB-triple road trains in and through the region. It will identify which routes they can safely travel on and whether these roads and bridges can support their use. The study area takes in Gunnedah, Gwydir, Liverpool Plains, Moree Plains, Narrabri, Tamworth, Uralla and Walcha councils.

Namoi Joint Organisation Chairperson Cr Col Murray said the study will include a technical review of local roads and bridges as well as canvassing the views and opinions of local freight operators and industry.

“With a current focus by State government on fixing country roads, we’re taking the initiative to support regional business by identifying ways to improve the way freight moves in and around the New England and North West regions.

“As one of the country’s richest agricultural areas and busiest feeder routes for primary industry, we owe it to our local communities to find ways to develop a sustainable freight network now and into the future.

“An independent consultant SMEC Australia is leading the study and overseeing a survey of freight and industry capturing their collective feedback. These frequent users of our road network are best positioned to provide meaningful views, issues, and suggestions” Cr Murray said.

“This project is a critical one for the region and for local government. It will help us identify where to direct our investment in roads and assist us to gain grant funding for much needed improvements” Cr Murray added.

Cr Murray acknowledged the highly competent and professional project sponsorship performed by Moree Plains Shire Council on behalf of the Region as a Joint Organisation member Council.

“The study is timely in light of the State Government’s call for expressions of interest for Fixing Country Roads in February, which provides funding to councils for their local roads and bridges, as well as providing industry feedback for intermodal freight initiatives and the proposed Inland Rail project” said Moree Plains Shire Council Mayor, Cr Katrina Humphries.

A brief online survey will provide the transport industry, their representatives and the companies that use them with a unique opportunity to have their say. The survey is available to complete online using the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/surveyjo

Alternatively, the link can be found on the Moree Shire Plains Council’s website www.mpsc.nsw.gov.au until Thursday 21 April 2016.

The Namoi Joint Organisation consists of eight member councils including Gunnedah, Gwydir, Liverpool Plains, Moree Plains, Narrabri, Tamworth, Uralla and Walcha.

The Joint Organisation collaborates to increase the effectiveness and sustainability of Local Government in the region.

Jobs for NSW Releases Assessment Framework

Jobs for NSW has released a robust assessment framework to provide an effective and transparent guide to investment in job creation projects in New South Wales.

The framework will guide assessment of requests for project support to channel investment in business segments that demonstrate the greatest potential for jobs growth. The framework can be found at:


Jobs for NSW CEO Karen Borg said the new assessment framework was an important milestone in the Jobs for NSW mandate to facilitate job creation via the $190 million Jobs for NSW fund.

“The Jobs for NSW assessment framework gives flexibility to invest in a range of different job creation initiatives, while at the same time providing a robust assessment framework to ensure we are funding those projects that will have the biggest job impact,” she said.

“This is an important step in ensuring the $190 million Jobs for NSW fund will deliver a measurable return on investment and that the Jobs for NSW approach is strategic and targeted.

“The framework ensures that Government intervention is justified and that Government is only funding projects that would not occur without Government intervention – ie addressing barriers in the market that would not otherwise be addressed and are hindering job creation.”

Businesses requesting Government investment will now move through a three-stage process of initial strategic assessment, full assessment, and final approval by the Jobs for NSW CEO and Jobs for NSW Board, before final approval by the Minister.

Jobs for NSW was established in late 2015 to help deliver innovative ways to drive investment and job creation under a Board chaired by former IBM and Telstra CEO Mr David Thodey. CEO Karen Borg was appointed in December 2015.

Digital Futures Report: A Case Study of The Northern Inland Region

Telecommunications are essential to communities in regional Australia. They enable people to keep in contact across vast distances, assist with access to emergency services and help drive economic growth.
Communications technologies also play an increasingly important role in enabling regional Australia to participate in the digital economy. It has been estimated that the productivity benefit of telecommunications for the Australian economy is $11.8 billion over the period to 2025.

The Regional Australia Institute (RAI) partnered with Vodafone to identify opportunities for the NSW Northern Inland region to promote regional development through better access to, and engagement with, communications technologies. This report focuses particularly on the region’s two largest centres, Armidale and Tamworth.

It presents an overview of the current state of telecommunications in the Northern Inland region and identifies the vast amount of work already being done to improve the region’s access and engagement. It also includes recommendations on how the region can continue to grow, prosper and improve connectivity through collaboration and the use of communications technologies.

Read the full report: Digital Futures: A case study of the Northern Inland region

Meanwhile, while the nation is gearing up for the 2016 election the RAI asserts that regional Australia needs a front seat in the policy debate. “Rather than pursuing the usual sugar hit of short term funding programs which don’t change much, let's focus on commitments to pursue genuine reforms that will have a lasting impact on regional futures,” RAI CEO Jack Archer said.

“As we inform and stimulate the debate ahead of the 2016 election, we encourage you to join the discussion, connect with us via social media or contact us to have your say.”

Tamworth’s Economic Development Strategy 2016-2021

Tamworth Tomorrow is a strategy focussed on driving the economic growth of the region through increasing the region’s population base, which fuels the economy, driving innovation, investment, cultural activity and entrepreneurial spirit. The Strategy has a strong people and place focus and harnesses knowledge, research and innovation as key drivers of Tamworth’s economic future.

Tamworth Tomorrow, is a guiding document for everyone that contributes to the economic development of Tamworth.

The Strategy places a high premium on attracting skilled professionals alongside developing the region’s existing employee skills base to match the requirements of business and industry and drive new opportunities and cultural change.

In a fresh approach to the region’s economic development, Tamworth Tomorrow defines the foundations that underpin the region’s economy and high growth sectors, identifies the region’s industry pillars and recommends specific actions based on the identified strategic drivers to activate and drive long-term growth.

Partnerships, collaboration, networks and innovation are key ingredients of this strategy.

For further details, click here.

2016 NSW Creative Achievement Awards

The New South Wales Creative Achievement Awards are a NSW Government initiative to recognise outstanding achievements that raise the global profile of NSW creative industries.
Nominations are now open at: www.industry.nsw.gov.au/invest-in-nsw/investment-assistance/awards/2016-nsw-creative-achievement-awards

Financing for Export Expansion

Australian small to medium sized businesses involved in exporting or supplying in to export projects now have a new financing option, with the announcement today that leading national working capital provider Scottish Pacific has been approved to partner with the Federal Government's export credit agency, Efic.

Traditionally, Efic has partnered with the major banks to encourage Australia's export industry. While this will continue to be the case the new arrangement with Scottish Pacific, the first non-bank to be approved by the agency, will enable them to offer solutions to a wider range of businesses.

Efic supports Australia's export industry by guaranteeing commercial finance facilities taken out by Australian companies exporting or operating in the export supply chains, helping them to expand their businesses overseas and to source opportunities in emerging and frontier markets.

For further information click here

Grants and Funding Opportunities

2016 NSW Young Regional Artist Scholarship
Applications close: 27th of June 2016

The NSW Young Regional Artist Scholarships are offered by the State Government to support innovative young artists and arts and cultural workers from regional NSW to undertake a self-directed professional development program in their chosen field.

Nufield Australian Farming Scholarships
Applications close 30th of June 2016

Nuffield Australia has been selecting Scholars for over 60 years. It is the leading program for primary producers in Australia which identifies new leaders in industry and the community. It is also part of a global network of over 1,600 Scholars from many other countries.

Future2 Make The Difference! Grants
Applications close 31st of July 2016

Future2 seeks to support programs that address the needs of disadvantaged young Australians through:

  • Education, including skills training and leadership development
  • Engagement, including mentoring and juvenile justice programs
  • Employment, including work experience and job readiness training
  • Well-being, including remedial programs for drug and alcohol dependence
  • Independent living, including addressing social exclusion and homelessness

Multicultural NSW Sponsorship Grants
Applications are ongoing

The Multicultural NSW Grants Program invests in community projects and activities that foster community engagement, build community harmony and social cohesion and celebrate the unique riches of our culturally diverse state.
The program delivers on our principles for action to:

  • Engage with all sections of society and break down barriers to participation
  • Enable equitable access to services and programs
  • Enrich social and economic capacity through cultural diversity as an asset of our state.

What’s On in the Northern Inland

Australian Celtic Festival
Tuesday 26th April to Sunday 1st May, 2016
Glen Innes

18th Annual Vintage Machinery & Miniature Railway Rally & Swap Meet
Saturday 30th April and Sunday 1st May, 2016

Killarney Bike Classic
Sunday 1st May

The Great Nundle Dog Race
Sunday 1st May

New England Bach Festival
Thursday 5th to Sunday 8th of May

Moree Gallery 20th Anniversary Exhibition Opening
Friday 6th of May

The Inaugural New England Arts and Craft Expo
Friday 6th to Sunday 8th May
Armidale Town Hall

Moree on a Plate
Saturday 7th of May

Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic
Saturday 7th of May

AAMI Country v City Origin
Sunday 8th May
Tamworth's Scully Park Regional Sporting Precinct

Australian Country Dance Festival
Thursday 12th of May

Shannons Country Classic Motor Show
Saturday 14th of May

New England Yard Dog Championships
Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th May

Coolatai Vintage Tractor Pull
Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th May

2016 Anniversary Heavy Horse Field Days
Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd of May

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