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February 2014 Newsletter

In This Issue:

Welcome From The Chair

Dear Northern Inlanders,

It was great to see some rain across the region this month, although plenty more is needed to top up our dams and put a smile on the face of farmers who are suffering through this crippling drought.

Earlier this month we hosted a regional biohub forum at the UNE. This was a very informative event that provided an opportunity to look at potential new industry and employment in the region. It is only by thinking outside the square that we can overcome the status quo that so often results in sub-standard outcomes for regional Australians. We’re always on the lookout for innovative projects that will contribute to economic development in the region, so get in touch with your ideas.

All the best,

Mal Peters, Chair

RDANI Leads Bio-Hub Conversation

Theycame to the University of New England from throughout the region, at RDANI’s invitation, to talk rubbish… and what would be involved in a regional approach to its management, towards a more sustainable, cost-effective future. That regional waste management approach can be called a “Bio-Hub”.
A forum entitled “Regional Bio Hubs – A potential solution for Local Government in Northern Inland NSW” was staged on Thursday, 13 February, 2014. It attracted region-wide attendance from key stakeholders, including innovative local councils and organisations, as well as researchers.

RDA Northern Inland Executive Officer, Nathan Axelsson said that a holistic, regional approach could be the key to the most sustainable waste management systems.

“Many regional Councils are struggling with the rising cost of landfill and the need to divert more waste away from landfill. A regional bio hub is a system where councils and private businesses cooperate to recover the highest value from regional waste streams, offering new industry opportunities, revenue generation and bioenergy opportunities,” he said.

“Using key experts in this field, the forum explained the concept and the imperative behind Bio Hubs. Bio Hubs will only be sustainable if a regional approach to waste management is considered. The forum was an important vehicle for gauging support for further feasibility work, to be done on the cost savings, revenue generation and financing options for Local Governments to establish a regional bio hub.”

Armidale Tech-Company Taps Into The Local IT Talent Pool

The 2013 Northern Inland Innovator of the Year, Armidale-based ICT International has just reaped the rewards of tapping into the expertise at the University of New England. Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) and Trade & Investment NSW facilitated a project which brought innovative minds in the two organisations together. The win-win outcome means enhanced service delivery for the high-tech exporter and the chance for current and recently graduated university students to apply their I.T skills to a real-world application. Academics believe such collaborations will even add to the appeal of UNE to prospective students.

“RDANI, NSW Trade & Investment and UNE have a number of similar projects in the pipeline for 2014, this is all about building the Digital Economy in Armidale and across Northern Inland NSW,” RDANI Executive Officer, Nathan Axelsson said. “Our region needs to move forward hand-in-hand. Win-win, collaborative partnerships not only yield top results, they are just common sense. Helping to make these connections is one important role that we can play.”

ICT International essentially involves scientists creating precision moisture measuring or thermal efficiency monitoring and associated remote data logging equipment for fellow scientists, generally for important environmental projects. Susan and Dr Peter Cull, who head up the cutting-edge operation, have directed about 20 percent of annual turnover into research and design over the past eight years. ICT International exports to 45 countries each year. Staffing levels have grown from 6 to 21 in the past four years. “It was great to produce a better service for our customers, while giving I.T students a chance to apply theory to practice,” Dr Cull said. “This small application can make a big difference and we have already passed it onto a client for trailing.”

Now, with the know-how from UNE students, building thermal efficiency data can be seamlessly integrated into a spreadsheet and automatically fed through formulas, with results displayed as clear charts and graphs and reducing the need to manually crunch large amounts of data. Software automation of information recorded by ICT’s equipment saves a lot of time for customers around the world.

Former Armidale local and UNE Graduate, Stuart Davies got a lot out of the project. “I wanted to help both the environment and UNE. I am also very interested in information technology being applied to local agricultural and environmental companies. Working together, we could build a real future for Australia in this field,” he said.

Attracting and Retaining Residents – Time for a Re-think?

Attracting new residents from capital cities to regional areas has long been a key weapon in the regional economic development armoury.  However, a closer examination of the migration data for Northern Inland NSW from the 2011 Census indicates it may be a tactic in need of a re-think, as most of our new arrivals do not come from Sydney, though Sydney does remain an important source of net inward-migration.

We are losing most of our more highly skilled working age people (30-59) to Queensland, the North Coast, the Rest of NSW and the Newcastle/Hunter regions.  We are losing most of our youth (20-29) to Queensland and Sydney.

For the full details see www.rdani.org.au/our-region/current-regional-issues/resident-attraction.php

Regional Australia Institute: Returning to Regions Trend

The Regional Australia Institute (RAI) seeks to identify evidence-based trends and opportunities in regional Australia. It typically focuses on policy issues and the decisions that government should make. In the case of Returners (to regional living), the trend that is truly community led.

The choices Australians are making for their own future are creating new opportunities for regions, according to a recently published RAI “Talking Point”, which investigates the “Returners” trend and what is happening in regional communities.

This Talking Point document outlined that a steady flow of working age people are moving from the capital cities to regional Australia, representing a real win-win for everyone involved.

“Regions can offer people a lifestyle and quality of life that is beyond the reach of most in the city. In turn, the communities that people return to, and become a part of, benefit from new skills and resources that can be vital to their future.”

“Although it is difficult to precisely identify who is making the move, a large portion are likely to be ‘Regional Returners’ - people who left the regions as young adults but choose to come back later in life.”

As well as evidence to support this trend, the RAI Talking Point provides some insightful case studies from people who have chosen to move back to the regions.

While it is clear many people have already decided to return to regional Australia, the Regional Australia Institute suggests there are likely to be many more thinking about it.

For further information, go to: www.regionalaustralia.org.au

Free Workshop: “Where the Jobs Are”

Making sense of labour market information

Do you support people with their career choices?

Do you want to learn how to access and use relevant, up-to-date labour market information to assist with career development or workforce planning?

Register now to attend a ‘Where the Jobs Are’ workshop, by the Career Development Association of Australia.

Why should you attend?

The workshops will provide you with the knowledge and confidence how to locate, identify and interpret quality labour market information and apply this information at a local and/or personal level. Workshops will also discuss employment trends, skills shortages, vacancies, expected growth in national and regional labour markets and other factors that should be considered when making career choices.

Who should attend?
If you are a teacher of V.E.T., work education, a career counsellor, a member of a career association or even a student learning how to become a career practitioner you will benefit from attending. If you are from a parent association, regional industry and local government interested in career planning you are all welcome.

Workshops will be delivered by qualified career development professionals from around Australia and all participants will receive a handbook with key resources and information complementing the workshop presentation. Participants will also have the opportunity to connect with local practitioners and key stakeholders to exchange information and forge important networks.

Workshop participation is free of charge.

A workshop catering to the Northern Inland region will take place at the University of New England’s Duval, Drummond & Smith College Seminar Room, from 8:30am-1pm on Thursday, 6 March, 2014. Click here to register

This project is supported by the Australian Government Department of Education through the Making Career Connections Initiative

Further information: www.cdaa.org.au

Urgent NBN / Copper Switch-Off Info Sessions For Armidale

Most existing landline phone and internet services in central and western Armidale will be disconnected from 23 May, 2014.

NBN Countdown – Business Information Session
Learn how the NBN will affect you at this FREE event.
Date:  Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th March, 2014
Time:  6.00PM – 7.30PM
Where:  Armidale City Bowling Club, Dumaresq St, Armidale
RSVP:  Online at: www.armidalechamber.com.au/events.php

NBN Countdown – Community Information Session
Learn how the NBN will affect you at this FREE event.
Date: Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th March, 2014
Time: Drop in at any time from 10.30AM – 4.30PM
Where: Armidale City Bowling Club, Dumaresq St, Armidale

Bald Rock Beef Jerky

Congratulations to Tenterfield’s latest fledgling entrepreneur, Dan Ford for pushing his chewy taste sensation dream into reality. His “Bald Rock Beef Jerky” recently became the most ‘backed’ kickstarter beef jerky project in the world.

Kickstarter is a “crowdfunding platform”. The company’s stated mission is to help bring creative projects to life.

Dan’s project attracted 722 ‘backers’ from around the world, pledging AUD$26,515 of his $5,000 goal. To help kick-start production.

Bald Rock Beef Jerky is made from lean, Australian grass-fed beef. It is marinated and dried using an ancient drying process that preserves the jerky’s natural flavours.

In 2001 I created an original recipe, which quickly became popular among friends and family.

Bald Rock is the name of the family cattle property where the beef jerky originated.

Check out the story and video here.

Tamworth Waste Management Masterclass

The training will be presented by highly experienced professionals ~ Jo Drummond and Robyn Pearson ~ who each bring more than 20 years’ experience in the waste sector.

Jo and Robyn's knowledge covers construction, demolition, refurbishment recycling, commercial, industrial and refurbishment recycling plus compliance and contract management.

This Masterclass offers NISBN Members a chance to build their waste management knowledge and skills.

The format is practical, hands-on and covers the entire waste cycle from minimisation and management to resource recovery and recycling.

  • Identify opportunities for government funding ~ including the recently announced funding from the NSW EPA and NSW Environmental Trust
  • Understand what waste is and the classifications of waste
  • Understanding your legislative requirements
  • Improve contract and procurement practices
  • Work through cost reduction, resource recovery and recycling ideas and strategies
  • Comply with legal and regulatory requirements
  • Perform a basic waste audit using Bin Trim tool
  • Analyse waste budgets
  • Set waste goals and targets

Time: 9am - 4pm (includes catered lunch)
Date: Tuesday 18 March 2014
Venue: West Tamworth Leagues Club, Phillip Street, West Tamworth
Cost: $50 per participant (invoice to be generated separately)

Registration closes at 5pm Friday 7 March 2014. To register, email info@nisbn.org.au and advise them if you have any special diet needs.

What's On in the Northern Inland

A day on the Green
Saturday 1st of March

Thousands to converge on the scenic venue at Petersons Winery from mid-afternoon to see pub-rockers, The Hunters & Collectors, as well as Terra Firma, British India, Diesel and Something for Kate. Further details and bookings, go to their website.

The Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Symposium 2014
Friday, 7 March

Planning for the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail has commenced, with $300 million dollars allocated in the federal budget for corridor acquisition and rail alignment.

The Hon. Warren Truss, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure has established an Implementation Group, chaired by former Deputy Prime Minister, John Anderson, to fast-track the Inland Railway, with construction to commence within three years and be completed within 10 years.

The time is now to become involved and have your say on how this Corridor of Opportunity is developed. The Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Symposium is a chance to contribute.
For further information, go to the Moree Plains Shire Council website here.

Rick Price at the Roxy
Friday, 7 March

Rick Price is a benchmark voice of ‘80s/’90s pop. With Top 40 hits including “Not A Day Goes By”, “Heaven Knows,” “Walk Away Renee” and the duet with Margaret Ulrich, “Where Is The Love” Rick Price has become one of Australia's most iconic performers.

Australian singer/songwriter Rick Price has walked the journey many musicians’ dreams are made of.
From the very beginning, as a nine year old and the youngest member of his family’s band, music was Price’s passion. Since those humble yet defining days, set amongst the backdrop of country Queensland, the self-taught artist has forged an internationally praised and respected career spanning more than three decades.

Tickets start at $35, for more information, visit The Roxy website here or contact the Bingara Visitor Information Centre: 6724 0066

Launch of new service: Royal Commission Counselling Australia
Thursday 13th of March

Learn about the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Assault, and Royal Commission Counselling Australia's services for those impacted by the Royal Commission. Professional Development Topics will include Complex Trauma and Vicarious Trauma. Rape & Domestic Violence Services Australia will be a Centre of Excellence in the provision of services to anyone who has experienced sexual, domestic or family violence.

To be held at the Quality Powerhouse Hotel, Armidale, from 11am to 2:45pm (Lunch provided) Register your interest by email to: rsvp@nswrapecrisis.com.au. For further information, go to www.nswrapecrisis.com.au

The Armidale Autumn Festival
Friday 14th to Sunday 16th of March

This is Armidale’s flagship event and the 2014 theme is ‘Autumn in New England High Country’, reflecting the area’s unique high country landscape and wealth of culture and history against the backdrop of the distinctly changing seasons for which the city is renowned. The parade on Saturday is a memorable experience. Visit the Autumn Festival webpage for further information.

The Reopening of the Inverell Town Hall
Saturday 15th of March

Inverell Shire Council invites the public to step out in style and celebrate a cultural focal point of the community. The ornate facility was opened in 1905. A major refurbishment commenced mid-2013 and is now being proudly unveiled by Council.

A Broadway themed gala night, with award-winning cabaret performer, Wayne Scott Kermond at the Inverell Town Hall on Otho Street, with the Candy bar in operation from 7:30pm. Dress is formal and Tickets must be purchased through Tourism Inverell.

For further information, go to the Inverell Tourism website.

Nundle Country Picnic
Sunday 16th of March

Relax with family and friends at the annual Nundle Country Picnic in the beautiful grounds of the Nundle Woollen Mill. Enjoy a delicious two-course picnic lunch featuring Nundle and the Tamworth region's best produce. Listen to swing, blues, country and rockabilly raunch with Katie Lou and the Southern Stallions, and Irish folk songs by Jeff Gibson for St Patick's Day. Preview new season winter fashion in a parade by Nundle Woollen Mill and Sacs on Jenkins, browse the boutique produce market, and stroll the village's antiques, art, craft and housewares stores. All funds raised support Nundle and District Lions Club annual activities.

If you are interested in a market stall, buying Picnic Lunch tickets or just want more information please go to www.nundle.com.au/events/picnic/

Nosh on the Namoi
Firday 28th to Saturday 29th of March

Nosh Eve - Friday, 28 March.
On the Lawns of The Crossing Theatre from 6:30pm.
Come along for an evening of drink, dance and dine. Delicious main fare by Relish Catering beer, wine & soft drink inclusive. Entertainment by Venus Music. "Nosh Eve" will serve as a launch for the 2014 Nosh on the Namoi. Cost: $95 - Tickets available at The Crossing Theate tables of 10 or individual tickets.

The main event - Saturday, 29 March
Nosh on the Namoi will be celebrating its 12th annual festival in 2014. This signature foodie event of the North West celebrates fine food, wine, and culture in the local area. There is even an opportunity to burn off some energy, with the Nosh on the Namoi Triathlon. For further information go to the event website at nosh.tiltandco.net or contact the Narrabri Shire Visitor Information Centre: 02 6799 6760

New Grants and Funding Opportunities

2014 Shed Development Grants
Closes: 7th of March 2014

The latest round of the “National Men’s Shed Development Grants” has been announced. All Men’s Sheds in Australia can apply for up to a total of $8,000 (GST excl) for a range of financial support across the three funding categories:

  • Category One: Tools & Equipment to a maximum of $5,000
  • Category Two: Building Maintenance & Development to a maximum of $7,500
  • Category Three: Shed Activities & Programs to a maximum of $2,500

Make sure your local Men’s Shed has an application in. More info can be found at: www.mensshed.org/development-grants-r6/.aspx

Funding Opportunity for Showgrounds
Closes: 17th of March 2014

Local showground reserve trusts and managers can currently apply for funding in the first round of the State Government’s 2014/15 Public Reserve Management Fund (PRMF). Round one specifically targets showgrounds and urgent pest and weed maintenance at other reserves.

This is an important chance for local showgrounds to get funds towards repairs to buildings and the upgrading of key infrastructure, which will ensure these facilities continue to serve our communities well, according to Member for Northern  Tablelands, Adam Marshall.

“Having been to all the Northern Tablelands showgrounds and discussing improvements with local trusts over the current show season, I know there is no shortage of projects which could attract funding in this round.”

“Last year saw local reserves attract more than $320,000 in PRMF funding which has had a two or three-fold financial impact on those showgrounds and reserves.”

The first round of the PRMF will be finalised by June. Reserve managers of showgrounds, or of any reserve type with a suitable pest or weeds project, have until Monday, 17 March 2014, to submit applications on the Crown Lands website at www.crownland.nsw.gov.au

Round two, commences around August and will focus on all other public reserves including caravan parks, state parks and local parks and reserves.

Small Grants for Small Rural Communities
Closes: 28th of March 2014

The Small Grants for Rural Communities is a collaborative program supported by various partners. It is the longest running and broadest program offered by FRRR. The program is open twice a year, and closes at the end of March and September. Round 25 of this program is open until the 28th of March and further details are available on the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal's website.

Further informaiton on grants and funding opportunities are available in the Grants and Funding Opportunities area of the RDA-NI website.

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