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December 2021 Newsletter

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In this Issue

Welcome from the Chair

Russell Stewart - Chair

Dear Northern Inlanders,

As another year comes to a close and our borders open, it is a wonderful time to gather and celebrate with family and friends. It is also a time to reflect on the year that has been and our goals for the future.

Each year the Regional Wellbeing Survey conducted by the University of Canberra creates a measure of the wellbeing, liveability and resilience of regional communities. The aggregated data from the survey provides evidence and information for organisations such as ours to help regional communities. I encourage you to participate in the study to help develop this data for our region.

As we look to the future, the Australian Government has opened Round 6 of the Building Better Regions Fund this week. This grant program funds projects that create jobs, drive economic growth and build stronger regional communities. In the past it has supported a wide range of projects for our region, and I hope to see more of our region’s innovative ideas receive funding.

Having Local, State and Federal Government purchase goods and services from our local businesses is essential for developing our region’s economy. I am pleased that the NSW Government is prioritising local suppliers and has developed resources to help them be successful. I urge small businesses to utilise the free online course and materials on offer and participate in the tender processes they have in place.

On behalf of the Committee and our staff, I wish all our readers a safe and joyous Christmas season, and we look forward to working with you in 2022.


Russell Stewart

Office Closure for Christmas and New Year

Our office is currently closed for the Christmas and New Year period through to Tuesday the 4th of January 2022. Our staff will attend to any emails and phone messages upon their return.

RDANI Committee and Staff wish everyone a safe and happy break as 2021 comes to a close, and we look forward to working together in 2022 to help the Northern Inland region grow and prosper.

BBRF to Provide $250M for Regional Projects

This week the Australian Government announced the opening of Round 6 of the Building Better Regions Fund. This program funds projects that create jobs, drive economic growth and build stronger regional communities. This round of the BBRF will bring the total funding under the program to $1.38 billion.

Last year, four projects were successful under BBRF in the Northern Inland, with a total grant value of almost $6M:

  • Upgrade of the Liverpool Plains Regional Water Supply
  • Inverell Regional Livestock Exchange Development Stage 2 Project
  • Creating Capability & Confidence for Community Champions
  • A Skill Focused Audit for Regional NSW – Understanding Employment Gaps

Applications for Round 6 are now open through two streams:

The Infrastructure Stream funds projects that provide economic and social benefits to regional and remote areas. These projects can be either construction of new infrastructure or the upgrade or extension of existing infrastructure. The Infrastructure Projects Stream only supports investment-ready projects. Grants between $20,000 and $10M are available under this stream.

The Community Investments Stream funds new or expanded local events, strategic regional plans, or leadership and capability strengthening activities that provide economic and social benefits to regional and remote areas. Grants between $5,000 and $1M are available under this stream.

Projects for both streams must be completed by the 31st of December 2024. For most projects, grant funding will be up to either 50% or 75% of eligible project costs, depending on your location.

Applications close for both streams on Thursday the 10th of February 2022. Anyone who would like assistance with their application, can contact our office to find out how we can help when our staff return in January on 67710700 or by email at rdani@rdani.org.au.

A New Round of 491 ROI’s Open in January

The NSW Government will be opening another round of Registrations of Interest for 491 Visa nomination in January. Interested applicants must receive an invitation to apply from the NSW Government through this process before submitting a full application for nomination to the relevant RDA.

We cannot represent the NSW Government or influence their decisions in relation to this invitation process. We can only respond to enquiries about this first step in the 491 Visa process that are general in nature. Further information about how to register your interest with the NSW Government and the online form is available on the NSW Government’s website. We also recommend reading through their frequently asked questions about the ROI process which has information for 190 and 491 Visas.

This is the third of four rounds of registrations of interest in the 2021-22 financial year, with the last round scheduled for March. Registrations of interest must be submitted during these rounds, even if the form is available outside the round dates. Applicants that were not successful in the last round should submit a new registration of interest in this round as applications are not carried over from previous rounds. It is vital that information in an ROI completely matches the details provided to the Department of Home Affairs through a Skill Select Expression of Interest. The NSW Government may refuse to nominate where discrepancies occur.

Our office is currently closed to visitors due to the continued spread of COVID for the safety of our staff and their families. While we appreciate it can sometimes feel easier to talk face-to-face, we are unable to make exceptions. Our Skilled Migration Officer, Gary Fry will be available to provide assistance where possible for those looking to apply to the Northern Inland from the 4th of January by phone on 6771 0700 or by email at migration@rdani.org.au

Contribute to Regional Wellbeing

Each year the University of Canberra conducts the Regional Wellbeing Survey to improve the understanding of the wellbeing, liveability and resilience of regional communities. Yearly data from the survey is publicly available and is used to provide information to organisations that work to improve the quality of life for regional Australians.

In the last year, insights from the Regional Wellbeing Survey have been used to:

  • help develop guides to support local groups in communities impacted by multiple disasters such as bushfire and floods.
  • build understanding of what farmers are doing to manage multiple climate, market and labour challenges.
  • understand what people living in remote areas need to support better liveability.
  • examine health and safety of rural workers, amongst other reports.

This year’s survey has a special focus on understanding how the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are affecting people and communities across Australia, on the ‘shift to the regions’ occurring in many parts of Australia, and on resilience to the cumulative effects of experiencing multiple events such as drought, flood, storm, fire and pandemic within a short space of time.

The 2021 survey is open until the 14th of January. By participating, you can help make a difference to communities across Australia, provide useful data for our region and as a token of thanks, you will be eligible to enter the prize draw with $8,000 of prizes.

The short version of the survey takes only ten minutes, and longer versions are avaible for those who are able to contribute more time to share their input. The survey can also be completed over time, as your responses can be saved as you progress.

If you need assistance with the survey or have any questions, you can contact the Regional Wellbeing Survey Team at the University of Canberra on 1800 981 499 during business hours, or by email on regionalwellbeing@canberra.edu.au

Assistance to Become a Supplier to the NSW Government

As part of the NSW Government’s commitment to sourcing more goods and services from small businesses, they have created the Tender Support Program. As part of this program, they are offering a free online course and a guide for Selling to the NSW Government.
The online course which is available through TAFE consists of four modules, in line with the process of tendering to the NSW Government:    

  1. Getting Business Ready
  2. Finding Opportunities
  3. Selling to Government
  4. Successful Supplying

The course can be completed as a whole or in parts, enabling it to be tailored to suit your needs, whether you haven’t supplied to Government before or already have experience in supplying to Government.

In addition to the online course, they have also created a new 45-page guide to becoming a Government supplier. This guide includes templates for key tendering documents, such as a business’s capability statement and referee report.

Don Jones, who developed the Tender Support Program, says one of the common misconceptions about working with Government is that it is all about offering the lowest price. He highlighted that it is important to demonstrate your ability to do the job by having good documentation and references to demonstrate your business’s capability and track record.

Further information, including how to access the online training and the guide for small business is available on the Selling to the NSW Government page of the Small Business Commissioner website.

Featured Grants and Funding Opportunities

Below are some featured grants and funding opportunities from the multitude of open grants listed in our Grants and Funding Opportunities Database on our website. Our website is updated weekly with new listings and updates and all are applicable to our region, so it is a great resource if you are looking for funding for a specific project.

You can also sign up to our free Business and Infrastructure Funding Opportunities and the Community Grants and Award Programs newsletters through the simple form located in the footer of our website, www.rdani.org.au, to receive monthly summaries of current grants.


National Careers Institute Partnership Grants -  Career Needs for Young People
Closes: 7th of February 2022 - 5:00 pm
Value: $20,000 to $350,000
Run By: Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment

The National Careers Institute Partnership Grants program provides grants for up to 12 months to enhance partnerships with industry, employers and schools to deliver innovative career advisory products and services for people at all stages of their careers.

The objectives for this round of the program are to:

  • create greater awareness of career pathways and career information for young people not in education, employment or training
  • contribute to an evidence base for addressing the needs of young people who are disengaged from education, employment or training
  • enhance partnerships between employers, training providers, schools and community organisations that assist disengaged young people into further learning and work, including jobs in demand.


Supporting People With Cancer Grant
Closes: 7th of February 2022 - 2:00 pm
Value: Up to $120,000
Run By: Cancer Australia

The SPWC Grant initiative aims to support people affected by cancer through the provision of grants to community organisations and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations.

This initative will fund evidence-based projects to reduce the impact of cancer and better support people affected by cancer. Community organisations and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations supporting people affected by cancer can apply for grants of up to $120,000 (GST exclusive) over a three-year period (2022-2025). Grants for projects to be conducted over a period less than 3 years should not exceed $40,000 (GST exclusive) per annum.


Future Drought Fund: Drought Resilient Soils and Landscapes Grants Program
Closes: 11th of January 2022 - 9:00 pm
Value: $500,000 to $1 Million
Run By: Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment

The objective of this component of the Future Drought Fund is to trial and demonstrate how scaling of particular practices (or combinations of practices) to improve management of natural capital can build drought resilience. Through this, the program aims to create and communicate an evidence-base and case studies that contribute to scaling out the successful practices.

The practices to be trialled and demonstrated must target improved drought resilience as a primary focus. That is, they must seek to support:

  • continued agricultural productivity and profitability during times of drought
  • faster recovery of agricultural productivity and profitability following times of drought
  • the provision of common and public good ecosystem services during and following times of drought. Those services underpin or are co-benefits to agricultural productivity and profitability.


Energy Efficient Communities Program - Food and Beverage Manufacturing Business Grants
Opens: 12th of January 2022
Closes: 18th of February 2022 - 5:00 pm
Value: $10,000 to $25,000
Run By: Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources

The Energy Efficient Communities Program assists businesses and community organisations to improve energy efficiency practices and technologies and better manage energy consumption to reduce their power bills.

The objective of this grant opportunity is to support small and medium sized food and beverage manufacturing businesses to save energy by:

  • replacing existing equipment with more energy efficient equipment
  • installing or replacing components to help existing systems run more efficiently
  • carrying out energy audits
  • monitoring and optimising energy use and emissions.

This grant opportunity also aims to support small and medium sized food and beverage manufacturing businesses to:

  • increase knowledge of energy efficiency practices, and
  • be positioned to adopt future technological advancement in energy consumption.
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