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February 2016 Newsletter

In this Issue:

Welcome from the Chair

Dear Northern Inlanders,

Welcome back for another exciting month. In this newsletter we are profiling the Agribusiness Careers & Professions (AGCAP) project which is a great way for us to keep our young people in the region through training and employment.

There’s also a bit of money kicking around for infrastructure at both the State and Federal levels. Round 3 of the National Stronger Regions Fund closes on March 15 and the NSW Government’s Murray Darling Basin Fund closes for application on March 1. You can read more about this below or get in touch with our office.


Russell Stewart

The Agribusiness Careers and Professions Program

The Agribusiness Career Access Pathway program known as AGCAP, is an excitingly practical response to the skilled labour shortage and quality people retention issues in the Northern Inland region of NSW.
It is a proven model for getting local youth engaged with agribusiness careers and Regional Development Australia Northern Inland is delighted to be a devoted supporting partner.

The AGCAP program can provide participating high school students with work in an agribusiness, while they continue their studies. It is helping young people to get the training and skills they need to secure employment in the rural sector, while connecting them with employers - who are keen to support a program that is working to better meet their labour needs.

For further information, visit www.agribusinesscareers.com.au.

A video about AGCAP can be viewed on YouTube.

Online shopping – Give a local a go!

Small businesses in the region have been frustrated by retail dollars leaking out of the region through online shopping in recent years. Now consumers can enjoy the convenience and novelty of online shopping, while also supporting the local businesses which support their community.

Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI), with support from Local Councils and Chambers of Commerce, has built the region’s biggest and most innovative online shopping centre.  In a first nationally, Come On Shopping is a user-friendly online shopping centre experience for the region’s businesses and customers.

RDANI is a not-for-profit organisation and is delivering Come On Shopping as a cost-effective service, to help local businesses access online trading and help grow the region’s digital economy. Come On Shopping will allow a business to access an easy-to-use website with full online shopping cart functionality, from as little as $39 per month.

“Building a website can cost thousands of dollars. Come On Shopping will be just a few hundred a year and is a one-stop-shop for everything a business could want to sell online, cushioning them from the impacts of changing market conditions in a struggling regional economy,” RDANI Chair, Russell Stewart said.

“The more retailers participating, the better Come On Shopping will be. The system enables you to buy your bread at the bakery, your meat at the butchers and you’re your healthy options at your local fruit and veg’ store, all in one transaction, then pick it all up when you come to town or arrange delivery.”

“This is a great initiative and I encourage locals to have a go at buying local online. There are already over a dozen regional businesses to support and that number is growing,” Mr Stewart said.

The Come On Shopping initiative will help channel growth in the region. Any business looking to be involved or find out more can contact Tiffany on 1300 966 575 or go to www.comeonshopping.com.au.

Murray Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Program

It's not too late for eligible businesses, local government, not for profits, NSW government agencies and other organisations to apply for a grant under the Murray Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Program - Regional Business Investment Fund.  Applications must be made online via the NSW Department of Industry website (see link below) and close on March 1 at 2pm (AEDT Sydney time).
Chair of Regional Development Australia Northern Inland Russell Stewart is urging Local Councils, not-for-profits and relevant public organisations to “make the most of the opportunity that this funding program represents”.

The Program is funded by the Australian Government to assist economic development projects that support the economic base of New South Wales regional communities, which are most likely affected by the implementation of the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

The types of projects eligible for funding under the Regional Business Investment Fund include business expansion, business establishment and infrastructure projects that result in the creation of new jobs.
Further support to assist with applications, including FAQs, Funding Guidelines (including eligibility criteria), Sample Applications and the link to the online grants portal can be found at:  www.industry.nsw.gov.au/murraydarlingfund

If you have any questions about your project or the Funding Guidelines, while completing an application, you can contact your local NSW Department of Industry office during business hours on: 02 6766 1360

Energy Saving Tips

egional Development Australia Northern Inland’s Northern Lights Project has seen RDANI Energy Efficiency Education Officer, Peter Stanley using a purpose built interactive display to explain energy efficiency at events around the New England.

The education and promotion aspect of the Northern Lights Project has been in addition to the largest regional LED street lighting upgrade to be rolled in Australia to date. New energy efficient street lights have been installed by Essential Energy in the Local Government Areas of Walcha, Armidale Dumaresq, Tenterfield, Guyra, Gwydir, Inverell, and Glen Innes.

These short videos explain what Regional Development Australia Northern Inland's Northern Lights Project has entailed and also include handy, simple energy efficiency tips:

Household Tips Video
Project Explainer Video

Here are a couple of extra energy saving tips:

Pack your freezer tightly
As counterintuitive as it may sound, the more you have in the freezer, the more efficient your freezer will be. Avoid buying an unnecessarily large fridge and start getting into the habit of freezing leftovers rather than throwing them out. In those instances where your freezer isn’t full, use newspaper, ice trays, ice packs or bags of ice to keep the space tightly packed.

Get stove smart
The smaller the burner, the less energy it uses, so simply matching your pot size to the burner you’re using can save you a huge amount of energy. In addition, only boiling the amount of water you need and adding a pinch of salt to speed up the boiling process can save you energy, and cooking with the pot lid on for as long as possible will help speed up the process.

Use a slow cooker or microwave
Despite the fact that slow cookers are on for hours on end and microwaves simply seem as though they would be energy suckers, in fact these smaller appliances use far less energy than the oven. Use these two time-savers and your wallet will benefit, too.

Light up the corners
Make the most of your lighting by letting it bounce off the walls to brighten an entire room. Putting a light fixture, like a lamp, in the corner of a room with a lower-wattage bulb will provide your room with an amount of light similar to that given off by a more powerful bulb in the middle of the room.

Redecorate around your heating and cooling
If you have curtains or furniture blocking the heating  vents in your home, you’ll find yourself cranking up the thermostat more often than you really need to. Shuffle things around to allow for at least 30 centimetres of space so the air can get out and flow through your home.

Close your apps, use airplane mode and unplug your phone charger
Our smartphones demand a lot of charging and can suck up more energy than we realise. Cut this down by closing all your apps to conserve battery, swapping to airplane mode while you’re charging to speed up the process and unplugging your phone charger when it’s not in use.

Glen Innes Solar Farm Short-Listed for Funding

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) aims to support further cost reduction in large-scale solar photovoltaics (PV) or solar power generation enterprises. The current competitive round is part of the Advancing Renewables Programme (ARP), and ARENA has allocated $100 million in funding to support large-scale solar PV projects selected through the round.

22 high merit projects have been selected to proceed to the full application stage. The projects are located in all mainland states and have a total capacity of 766 megawatts (MW). Among them is the White Rock Solar Farm proposed by Goldwind Australia Pty Ltd, which has forecast a 20Megawatt power generation capacity.

Together with the White Rock Wind Farm, this project would make Glen Innes a renewable energy hub, on a national level.

Progress in Australian Regions

The Progress in Australian Regions—Yearbook provides a statistical resource that can help all Australian's to understand how their region is progressing against economic, social, environmental and governance indicators. The Yearbook brings together information about Australia's regions from a range of different sources and presents that data in a consistent format over time.

The 2015 Yearbook also includes an expanded set of geographies. Within the Yearbook publication, the list of sub-state regions has been expanded to provide a finer level of detail in outback Australia. The attached data files provide even greater geographic detail, presenting data by Local Government Area (LGA) and by Regional Development Australia Committee (RDA) boundaries wherever possible.

Northern Inland NSW NBN Rollout

NBN Co has outlined the proposed construction work up to September 2018. The following areas are scheduled for NBN connection in 2017:
Old Bonalbo, Sandilands East, Tabulam, Urbenville, Tenterfield, Uralla, Walcha, Warialda,  Werris Creek, Wee Waa, Calala, East Tamworth, Hillvue, Kingswood, Moore Creek, Nemingha, North Tamworth, Oxley Vale, South Tamworth, Taminda, Tamworth, West Tamworth, Westdale, Quirindi, Narrabri, Moree, Manilla, Kootingal, Gunnedah, Guyra, South Guyra, and Glen Innes.

You can register to be notified as to when you can connect to the NBN here.

Grants and Funding Opportunities

Westpac Foundation Community Grants

Westpac Foundation Community Grants are funded through donations and fundraising by our Westpac branch employees, Westpac customers and the general public.

The grants, which are up to $10,000 each, are awarded to local, grassroots not for profit organisations with big and small ideas to improve educational opportunities, employment pathways or quality of life for Australian's experiencing disadvantage.

In addition to financial support the Westpac Foundation is also committed in providing a range of non-financial support to help maximise the impact and sustainability of the community organisations supported.

For further information and to apply, go to: www.westpac.com.au/about-westpac/our-foundations/westpac-foundation/grants/community-grants/

Funding Open for Aboriginal Arts Projects in Country NSW
Country Aboriginal artists and arts organisations are invited to apply for NSW Government funding to support local projects that encourage people to explore and express their cultural identities.
The NSW Aboriginal Regional Arts Fund aims to build on a vibrant, distinctive and contemporary Aboriginal arts and cultural sector in NSW.

The fund supports projects that:

  • Enable Aboriginal communities in regional NSW to explore and express their cultural identities;
  • Engage and promote regional Aboriginal artists, arts and culture in NSW;
  • Encourage people to engage with Aboriginal arts and cultures;
  • Build the capacity and sustainability of Aboriginal arts organisations in regional NSW;
  • Increase professional and skills development opportunities for Aboriginal artists living in regional NSW.

The NSW Aboriginal Regional Arts Fund offers up to $5,000 for individual professional artists and up to $15,000 for organisations. The closing date for applications is 14 March 2016.

For more information and to apply, visit www.arts.nsw.gov.au

NSW Tourism funding
Local councils, tourism associations, industry and regional tourism organisations can now apply for the third round of the NSW Government’s 2015-2016 Regional Visitor Economy Fund (RVEF).

The total RVEF funds available for the 2015-2016 financial year is $7.2 million, which is part of the $21.6 million record funding commitment announced by the government in 2012.

It is managed and administered by the State’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, and provides investment into the regional visitor economy on a matched dollar-for-dollar basis.

Further information on the RVEF, including the contact details of the Zone Manager who can guide and advise applicants in developing their application, is available at www.destinationnsw.com.au/rvef

Applications for round three of the 2015-2016 RVEF contestable fund will be accepted up until 5pm on Friday, 11 March 2016.

Environmental Education Grants
Local environmental groups are encouraged to apply for State Government funding to support their work with communities to conserve the environment. A total of $1.8 million in funding is now available under the 2016 Lead Environmental Community Groups (LECG) Grants Program.

The program offers grants to support new or existing education or capacity building activities that develop the community’s knowledge and participation in protecting the environment.

The grants will deliver long-term funding to eligible groups over a three year period – 2016, 2017 and 2018 – reducing the need for orgainstaions to apply each year.

The program offers grants under two funding streams for organisations of different sizes:

  • Stream 1 for larger non-government organisations seeking funding between $20,000 and $80,000 each year (maximum of $240,000 in total over the 3 year funding period)
  • Stream 2 for smaller groups seeking less than $20,000 each year (maximum $60,000 in total over 3 years).

To be eligible for the grants, applicants must be a non-government, not-for-profit organisation, with a full-time presence in NSW and have the protection and enhancement of the environment as one of their primary objectives.

Applications close on Friday, 11 March 2016. 

Further information and applications forms are available at: www.environment.nsw.gov.au/grants/Lead.htm

Grants for Early Career Writers
Early career writers in the region are being encouraged to apply for the NSW Government’s 2016 Writer’s Fellowship, which provides $30,000 for a program of professional development in addition to the opportunity to attend a one-week residency at Varuna, the National Writers’ House in the Blue Mountains.
The fellowship is open to professional writers of any age who are in the early stages of their career and will enable the recipient to undertake activities including research, mentorships, internships, courses and creating new works.

Eligible writing forms are fiction, literary non-fiction, children’s and young adult literature, poetry, writing for performance, graphic novels and literary digital and new media work.

Applications are now open and close at midnight on Monday, 14 March 2016.

For more information including details on how to apply, visit www.arts.nsw.gov.au

What’s On in the Northern Inland

The Big Show Team Roping Championships
Monday 22nd Feb – Saturday 27th Feb, 2016

Australian Caravan Club – Chairman’s Muster
Wednesday 24th February to Wednesday 2nd March 2016

The Small Biz Bus
Wednesday 2 March 2016
Location: Rouse Street (next to the Post Office), Tenterfield
Time: 10am to 3pm

Glen Innes
Thursday 3 March 2016
Location:  319 Grey Street, Glen Innes
Time: 9am to 3pm

Friday 4 March 2016
Location:  Byron Street (opposite McDonalds), Inverell
Time: 10am to 3pm

North & North West Show Jumping Club Indoor Show Jumping Championships
Friday 4th – Sunday 6th March, 2016

Nundle Country Picnic
Sunday March 6, 2016

Minerama Fossicking, Gem Show and Jewellery Show
Friday 11th to Sunday 13th March, 2016
Glen Innes

Gwydir Industries: Dancing With The Stars
Saturday 12th March, 2016

Moonbi/Kootingal Motor Club
12-13 March, 2016

The Armidale Autumn Festival
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March, 2016

Seasons of New England and Uralla Lantern Parade
Saturday 19th March, 2016

Girls' Day in the Country
(Cottage on the Hill quilting weekend)
Saturday and Sunday March 19th-20th, 2016

Week of Speed
Friday 19th to Saturday 20th of March, 2016

Australian Appaloosa Association National Show
Tuesday 22nd – Saturday 26th March, 2016

Nundle Go for Gold Festival
Easter Saturday and Sunday 26th – 27th March, 2016

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