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April 2018 Newsletter

In This Issue:

Welcome From the Chair

Russell Stewart

Dear Northern Inlanders,

Welcome to another edition of our Newsletter. This month we take a look at a few of our projects and initiatives in more detail as well as an update on the many State and Federal grants available for economic infrastructure and community facilities of all shapes and sizes. Don’t forget you can match NSW Government grants with Federal Government grants to satisfy ‘matched funding’ requirements. Our staff are currently assisting many Local Councils and other organisations to complete their grant applications on-time and on-budget.

Keep an eye out next month for an update on the economic performance of our Northern Inland region. Latest data shows our Gross Regional Product (the total value of the final goods and services produced in the region over one year) growing from $10 billion to $12 billion p.a over the past two years, mostly attributable to our growing, agricultural, mining and construction sectors. The net result of this has meant jobs growth in our region from 66,000 to 76,000 over the same two- year period, mostly in agriculture, health, mining and construction. While we should always take the data with a grain of salt, the underlying trends are very positive for our towns and cities.


Russell Stewart

Strong RDANI Performance sees Chair Re-Appointed

Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) is the peak regional body for business growth, new jobs, skills development and business investment within the Northern Inland region. The Australian Government’s Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government John McVeigh has announced the re-appointment of RDANI’s Narrabri-based Chair Russell Stewart for a second three-year term to lead the organisation.

“I am delighted to reappoint Mr Russell Stewart as Chair of RDANI. Mr Stewart’s extensive experience in local business and working across all three levels of Government, paired with his strong commitment to the Northern Inland region through his ongoing work in the area make him the perfect candidate to continue to lead RDANI,” Dr McVeigh said.

“I would also like to acknowledge and thank the 500-plus volunteer board members that serve on our 52 RDA committees across Australia for their ongoing support.”

Member for Parkes and Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, the Hon. Mark Coulton has congratulated Mr. Stewart on the re-appointment. “Russell and the RDANI Committee have achieved a great deal and I look forward to seeing that continue. RDANI is part of a national network that is ideally placed at the grass-roots level to help inform our Government about major projects and assist proponents to access funds for those projects,” he said.

The re-appointment to the role of Chair of RDANI is about the Australian Government backing a winner, according to Mr. Stewart. “Our team has proven to be one of the top performing RDA Regions in Australia over the past three years. This was recognised by Maxine Loynd, General Manager of the RDA Program with the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities, when our Executive Director, Nathan Axelsson and I met with her in Canberra in February.”

“For me, this is recognition of the positive, can-do approach by our voluntary committee of eight and our hard-working and talented staff,” Mr. Stewart said.

“I regard our entire team as outstanding operators and above all, great people. Our continuity is one big advantage we have in supporting the development of the Northern Inland. Our Committee members really know the region and its challenges. They and our staff have a wealth of broad experience in the region. None are Johnny-come-latelies; the expertise and experience in RDANI sees us stand very tall among our counterparts. Like the businesses and Local Government bodies they are here to support, our team are part of the Northern Inland and passionate about its economic development and holistic growth,” he said.

“RDANI research, analysis and consulting has advanced the business case for many different projects of regional significance in recent years. It has been great to see our Local Councils increasingly tapping into our expertise and impartial regional outlook.

RDANI has facilitated the development of the Wool Works Shearing School, which will nurture interest in a skill of important to rural Australia among high school students. This followed on from RDANI’s support of the Agribusiness Careers and Professions (AGCAP) program, which saw its growth snowball.”

“We have conducted a highly successful digital upskilling project called Go Digital, which benefitted over 100 local business people throughout the region and still has course content available online. Our regional portal website Come On Inland is comprehensive and ever evolving,” Mr. Stewart said.

“RDANI is helping local employers to grow their businesses and organisations to maintain or expand services through facilitating skilled migration. RDANI is one of the most efficient and innovative Regional Certifying Bodies (for skilled migration) nationally. Not only have we been successful as an assessing authority, we have also developed resources to assist and inspire skilled migrants, employers and the wider community, such as case study videos and a popular Skilled Migration Northern Inland Facebook Group,” he said.

Russell Stewart is a recognised champion for his home-town of Narrabri but his re-appointment shows how he has broadened his perspective to a regional level. “This region is home for my family. I’ve got a real passion for the people and communities who live in the bush. I think that working with the diversity and strengths in the Northern Inland region, we can be unbeatable. I am excited about the next three years,” he said.

Growing Our Region and Our Youth's Interest in Agriculture

To promote the economic growth of the Northern Inland region, Regional Development Australia – Northern Inland undertake a variety of projects and initiatives. In this first instalment of our three-part series, discover how we are nurturing our youth’s interest in agriculture and are also helping people make the tree-change to our amazing region.

Wool Works Shearing School

Wool Works Shearing School

The wool industry in NSW is facing a shortage of skilled workers due to high wool prices and an ageing workforce combined with a low volume of new entrants, resulting in a negative impact on the industry. To combat this, RDA-NI created Wool Works along with NSW DPI, Northern Tablelands Local Land Services, TAFE New England, Glen Innes Severn Council, Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), Heiniger and Prime Super.

Wool Works provides high school students with an opportunity to experience the varied roles in the wool industry and gain some hands-on skills. After the success of the first training day that was held in 2017, a second three-day school is scheduled for mid-2018 at the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), Glen Innes Agricultural Research and Advisory Station. Hear from the participants of the training day and find out more about Wool Works on our website here: www.rdani.org.au/projects/wool-works.php


RDA-NI are proud to be part of the Agribusiness Careers and Professions (AGCAP) program that was developed through a unique collaboration between the Make it Work Foundation (Narrabri Chamber of Commerce), the Department of Education and State Training Services. AGCAP has become the benchmark model for school, industry, tertiary and higher education partnerships in NSW.

Commencing in Year 10, the AGCAP program incorporates school, college and university to give rural and regional students a pathway to agricultural college, university or directly into skilled jobs. It allows students to gain industry endorsed, nationally recognised qualifications and the practical skills and knowledge they need to move into new job roles while spending a minimum amount of time away from their home town, all whilst getting paid to work. You can find out more about the AGCAP program through its website: www.agribusinesscareers.com.au

Come On Inland

Come On Inland
Easy access to information about our region is an important way of breaking down the barriers for those who are looking to relocate. Established in 2013 by RDA-NI with our Local Councils, Come On Inland utilises a website and social media to assist people in taking steps towards the fantastic lifestyle our region offers.

The content is ever-evolving and includes real estate, education, employment, facilities for families and lifestyle activities broken down into each of the twelve Local Government Areas in the Northern Inland. You can check out the website at www.comeoninland.com.au or join in on social media on Facebook or Twitter. If you know of any information that we should include in the website’s directory for your area, please email us at rdan@rdani.org.au.

In the second instalment in next month’s newsletter, find out how we are celebrating our innovative businesses and addressing skill shortages in the region.

'Think Big' for Regional Australia

The Coalition Government's highly anticipated $272 million Regional Growth Fund is officially open for applications from across regional Australia.

Speaking in Toowoomba, Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government John McVeigh officially released the program's guidelines and encouraged potential applicants to come forward with great ideas to boost regional, rural and remote Australia.

“The Regional Growth Fund will be a game-changer across Australia by unlocking government funding for projects that have the capacity to transform regional areas,” Dr McVeigh said.

“The Coalition Government will invest a minimum of $10 million toward each successful infrastructure project, which will represent a maximum of 50 percent of project costs.

“We are focused on significantly leveraging our investment by working closely with local communities and other levels of government to drive the delivery of major projects.”

Dr McVeigh said the Regional Growth Fund would focus on capitalising on the natural economic advantages of individual communities.

“I encourage regional communities to think big when it comes to projects under the Regional Growth Fund,” he said.

“Successful projects will provide greater support for existing industries such as agriculture, tourism and manufacturing, allowing them to innovate and flourish.”

Dr McVeigh said the Regional Growth Fund was a key pillar of the Coalition's unwavering commitment to delivering vibrant regional communities, and was supported by a record $75 billion infrastructure investment across the nation.

“The Regional Growth Fund is an open invitation to everyone eligible who believes in regional and remote Australia to partner with the Coalition Government to support positive change for the future,” he said.

“Every community has unique strengths that the Regional Growth Fund will build on. I encourage all interested parties to get cracking on their Initial Application and get them in by 27 April 2018.”

Find out about the fund on the department's website at: http://regional.gov.au/regional/programs/regional-growth-fund.aspx  or in our featured grants below.

Featured Grants and Funding Opportunities

You can sign up to our Business and Infrastructure Funding Opportunities and the Community Grants and Award Programs newsletters through the simple form located on the left-hand side of our website: www.rdani.org.au.

We have expanded the Grants and Funding Opportunities area of our website to include a full listing of current funding opportunities with more detail than we can fit into the newsletters. The website is updated weekly with new listings, so it is a great resource if you are looking for funding for a specific project.

Featured Business and Infrastructure Grants

Regional Growth Fund (Australian Government)
Closing Date: 5 pm AEST on 27/04/2018
Value: $10 Million and Up, with a total grant pool of $272.2 Million
Run By: Australian Government Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities

The Regional Growth Fund is a $272.2 million investment program to provide grants of $10 million or more for major transformational projects, which support long term economic growth and create jobs in regions, including those undergoing structural adjustment.

The Australian Government’s grant funding, through this Program, is expected to leverage investment from the private sector, not-for-profit organisations and other levels of government in the region.

The expected outcomes of the Program are to:

  • create jobs
  • drive economic growth
  • build stronger regional communities.

The Program is open to state and territory governments, local governments, the private sector and not-for-profit organisations.

Northern Inland applicants are encouraged by the department to seek the support of Regional Development Australia Northern Inland for their application. RDA-NI can:

  • assist you to identify and develop a strong project proposal that will contribute to long term economic growth and is a priority within your region, and
  • work with you to prepare a competitive Initial Application, supporting documents and evidence.

A two stage process will allow applicants to submit an Initial Application for assessment without having to spend the time and resources developing a Full Business Case and associated documents. Projects that proceed to the second stage will then be required to submit comprehensive project management plans, asset maintenance/management plans, five year cash flows, evidence of use of project post completion, audited financial statements and information on any grants previously received from governments.

Stronger Country Communities Fund
Closes: 5pm AEST, Friday 4 May 2018
Value: From $50,000
Run By: NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet

The Stronger Country Communities Fund is investing in infrastructure projects in regional NSW communities to improve the lives of residents and enhance the attractiveness of these areas as vibrant places to live and work.

The Stronger Country Communities Fund is available to all 92 regional local government areas, Lord Howe Island and the Unincorporated Far West. Regional local councils are those outside Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong.

Organisations interested in putting forward a project are encouraged to read all the program details and approach their local council early in the application period.

Individual project applications must seek a minimum of $50,000. Applications seeking between $50,000 and $1 million can be for the entire project cost as a grant. Projects requiring grant funding of over $1 million will only be considered where there is a minimum financial co-contribution towards the project of 25 per cent of the total grant amount. The financial co-contribution to the project can be from council or other funding sources, but must be confirmed.

There is $200 million available in Round Two for local amenity and sporting infrastructure projects. Each eligible council will have a specified allocation of funding committed to projects in their area. $100 million is for general community amenity and $100 million is for local sport infrastructure projects.

Councils will be sent a letter from the department informing them of their total Round Two funding allocation. The total Round Two amount available to each council will effectively be double their Round One allocation, plus or minus the amount that was committed to in Round One.

Regional Tourism Product Development Program
Closes: 30 June 2019
Value: $15,000 to $150,000
Run By: Destination NSW

The Regional Tourism Product Development Program offers between $15,000 and $150,000 for eligible projects that satisfactorily meet the assessment criteria. The funding must be, at least, matched dollar-for-dollar.

Proposals can be submitted by local government, tourism and sector organisations, including Destination Networks, and industry (GST registered), located or representing industry within the six new Destination Networks.

Regional Tourism Product Development is available for:

1. New accommodation projects that increase capacity for the region where there is a demonstrate need i.e. the project aligns with at least one of the following:

  • The proposed project aligns with the DMP
  • The proposed project addresses a shortfall of a specific type of accommodation in the destination, such as a lack of family cabins or double rooms
  • The proposed project will facilitate additional accommodation capacity during events and peak periods (where it can be demonstrated that the location is already at capacity during thes times)

2. Infrastructure projects that can clearly demonstrate that they will drive increased overnight visitation to the region and align with needs identified in the relevant DMP.

3. Visitor signposting (only when led by a council / tourism sector organisation to improve overall visitor experience and highlighting tourist activities and sector related experiences). Note: This does not include road signs

4. Itinerary / Tour Development

5. New attractions and experiences

Featured Community Grants

Ian Potter Foundation Community Wellbeing Grants
Expresssions of Interest Close: 20th of April 2018
Value: $100,000 and up to an undisclosed limit
Run By: The Ian Potter Foundation

Community Wellbeing is the Foundation’s busiest program area which seeks to identify those projects that are likely to have the greatest impact on some of society’s most complex issues.

Proposals for collaborative, multi-year projects are encouraged, as well as those that share knowledge gained with the broader sector. In general, the recommended minimum grant amount is $100,000.

They encourage all organisations to apply regardless of their size; in the case of small projects, the award can be of small amounts over multiple years, i.e., $35,000 a year for three years.

The Foundation particularly encourages applications in high-need areas that have a strong volunteer component and/or a volunteer Board that is a representative cross-sector of the community.

Applicants must speak to the Program Manager prior to submitting their Expression of Interest (EOI). They strongly recommend you discuss your project with the Program Manager before you start your application.

Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation
Closes: Next round closes 23rd of April 2018
Value: Up to $500,000 - averages at $50,000
Run By: Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation

The Foundation provides funding for community projects in the Hunter, Central Coast, Central West, Mid North Coast, New England and Northern Rivers areas of NSW.

The Foundation will consider applications from eligible charitable and not-for-profit organisations for important projects, initiatives and programs that address one or more of the following key focus areas:

  • Improved Health and Wellbeing outcomes for the most disadvantaged, isolated and vulnerable in our community;
  • Improved life outcomes for disadvantaged and at risk young people; and
  • Improved social outcomes for the most disadvantaged and marginalised in our community.

Foundation grants generally range from $10,000 to $500,000 with an average grant size of approximately $50,000.

Investing in Women Funding Program
Closing Date: 22nd of April 2018
Value: Up to $100,000
Run By: NSW Government Department of Family and Community Services

The Investing in Women funding program funds NSW organisations to develop and implement projects that support:

the economic opportunity and advancement,
participation and empowerment, and
leadership of women in NSW.

Projects that support high quality activity, engagement and participation with the following priority groups will be prioritised for funding:

  • women living and/or working in regional NSW
  • Aboriginal women
  • women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds
  • young women
  • women with disabilities
  • older women, and/or
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) women.

What's On in the Northern Inalnd

Glen Innes Seniors Festival
Wednesday 4th to Sunday 15th of April
Glen Innes

Tamworth Taste Festival
Friday 6th to Sunday 15th of April

Gravesend 100 mile long lunch

Saturday 7th of April

Big Family Gathering
Saturday 7th of April

Gingham by Night

Saturday 7th to Sunday 8th of April

Taste in the Park
Sunday 8th of April

Quirindi Canter Fun Run and Charity Bike Ride
Sunday 8th of April

Moree Seniors Festival
Sunday 8th to Saturday 14th of April

Art Exhibition and Sale

Sunday 8th and 15th of April

New England North West Seniors Week Expo
Thursday 12th to Friday 13th of April

Quota Book Fair
Thursday 12th to Saturday 21st of April

Australian Speedway Sidecar Championships
Friday 13th and Saturday 14th of April

Gunnedah Show
Friday 13th to Sunday 15th of April

Cash for Cod
Saturday 14th to Sunday 22nd of April
Copeton Dam

Tamworth Regional Heritage Festival
Thursday 19th to Friday 27th of April

Skateboard Workshop
Friday 20th of April

Bobby Jacks
Saturday 21st of April

Curlewis Red Cross Gala Day
Sunday 22nd of April

Boggabri Arts and Crafts Exhibition

Tuesday 24th to Saturday 29th of April

Willow Tree Dog Trials
Wednesday 25th of April
Willow Tree

Boggabri Drovers Campfire

Thursday 26th to Sunday 29th of April

Moree Show
Friday 27th of April

Movie Night Under the Stars
Saturday 28th of April

Relay for Life
Saturday 28th of April

NSW CWA Annual Conference
Monday 30th of April to Sunday 5th of May

Neighbourhood Centre Week
Monday 30th of April to Friday 4th of May

All Breeds Championship & Companion Cat Show
Saturday 5th of May

20th Annual Vintage Machinery & Miniature Railway Rally & Swap Meet
Saturday 5th of May

Shannons Tamworth Motor Show
Saturday 5th of May

Narrabri Show
Saturday 5th to Monday 7th of May

The Great Nundle Dog Race
Sunday 6th of May

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