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General Newsletter - 17th of June 2022


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In this Issue

Welcome from the Chair

Russell Stewart - Chair

Dear Northern Inlanders,

How to meet housing needs is becoming a significant issue for many regions in Australia, including the Northern Inland. As house prices increase at a far greater rate than wages, ‘the great Australian dream’ of owning a home is becoming just that for many hard-working Australians. The shortage of appropriate and affordable housing is also an issue for businesses and hinders our population growth. Without available housing, new residents cannot move to our regions and fill labour and skill shortages in our economy. As the Regional Australia Institute’s research shows, one-size-fits-all policies cannot be used to address this issue. Each housing market's characteristics should be taken into consideration in policy-making decisions.

What drives a regional economy varies by region and sub-regions, known as Function Economic Regions. The Regional Economic Development Strategies (REDS) developed by the NSW Government provide valuable insight into Functional Economic Regions and guide local economic development and Government grant funding. As part of the review of the REDS, the Department of Regional NSW is seeking information from businesses through a short survey. It is important we provide the necessary information to the NSW Government to help make the REDS an effective tool for our future.

I was pleased to see another one of our Shearing Schools held in Glen Innes this month. Providing hands-on experience to our youth and igniting interest in our agriculture sector is essential. We appreciate the funding and support from NSW and Australian Governments, and Adam Marshall as NSW Member for Northern Tablelands, which has made the seven schools we have hosted over the last two years possible. We look forward to running more schools into the future. Any schools interested in participating can contact our staff at rdani@rdani.org.au to register your interest.

I would also like to remind our readers that applications for our Committee Member vacancy will close on the 30th of June. Being an RDA-NI Committee Member is a unique opportunity to be part of our proactive team and positively contribute to our region's future.

Regards,

Russell Stewart
Chair

Are You a Proactive Community Member?

We currently have a vacancy on our Committee and are seeking applications from anyone interested in being a productive part of our team. RDA Committee members are an active contributor to the outcomes of a diverse group of individuals working in a complex environment to deliver high value outcomes for the state or community and region. Members are an active supporter of creating jobs and regional growth.

They are expected to leverage existing networks and develop new networks across industry sectors. RDA Committee members are required to support the Chair to attract opportunities and investment to their region. They must be knowledgeable about the economic, social, cultural and environmental opportunities and challenges facing their region; be well connected and a strong advocate for the region; and draw their regional communities together to build and drive economic growth.

RDA Committee members work as an effective member of the RDA Committee toward a common goal or strategy, and drive projects that target specific areas of economic development for the region. They actively support committee governance and management processes.

Women, people from Indigenous and diverse cultural backgrounds and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. An information pack and application form are available on through our website and applications can be lodged to rdani@rdani.org.au by 5pm on the 30th of June.

Help Inform NSW Regional Economic Development Strategies

The Department of Regional NSW (DRNSW) is currently developing updates for their Regional Economic Development Strategies (REDS). The REDS are important strategic documents that help guide local economic development priorities for communities in regional NSW. These documents may also be utilised to support grant applications to the NSW and Commonwealth Governments.

Four REDS currently cover the Northern Inland region in the following Functional Economic Regions:

As part of the update, DRNSW is seeking feedback from the business community about key priorities for supporting job creation and economic growth. The information collected will be used to understand better key trends and sentiments impacting the business community in regional NSW.

The DRNSW would appreciate businesses in NSW to complete their 15-minute survey, which will be available until the 30th of June. If you have any questions regarding the DRNSW team can be contacted by email at REDSproject@regional.nsw.gov.au

Meeting Regional Housing Needs with Diversified Strategies

New research by the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) in their latest report Building the Good Life: Foundations of regional housing, may hold the key to meeting the growing demand for housing in regional towns and cities around the country.

The research aims to provide policymakers, industry and regional leaders with new information about Australia's six different housing markets and highlights the need for place-based initiatives moving forward.

Northern Inland housing markets were categorised as either Stalled or Stable as shown in the map from the report below.

RAI CEO Liz Ritchie says understanding these markets will help deliver more affordable and appropriate homes. “Regional Australia is experiencing a moment in history like no other. In the decade to 2020, its population grew by an average of 76,500 people per annum. A life in the regions is now more attractive than ever before. As millions of Australians either choose to stay in the regions, or make the move, this surge in popularity brings with it growing pains that need addressing as we contend with the unique settings facing our regions.”

“Failure to recognise the distinct regional housing markets in Australia and respond accordingly will see the current pressures continue to escalate. With the drivers of markets quite different in respective markets, responses need to be calibrated accordingly to ensure they improve the situation”

“If blanket policies are introduced to incentivise new builds within stalled markets (31 inland LGAs) these may also exacerbate land-supply pressures in the more active growth zone markets (87 LGAs). Conversely, policies that bring more land to market should help alleviate undersupply in fast-growing regions but will have no impact on low-growth regions where land supply is already plentiful.”

“The way forward in Lismore may need to be vastly different to meeting the housing challenges in Byron Bay. Adhering to a ‘one-size-fits-all’ plan could see locals priced out of the market, regional economic growth constrained, a further tightening of the rental market, and/or the most vulnerable in our community bearing the brunt of the housing challenge.”

“With more than 84,000 jobs advertised in March 2022 – yet another record broken – regional employers are looking for staff and they need appropriate housing to accommodate them,” Liz Ritchie said.

The full Building the Good Life: Foundations of Regional Housing report is available on the RAI’s website.

Are You an Exporter or Aspire to be One?

Investment NSW and the Global Trade Professionals Alliance are providing a free Introduction to Exporting Workshop in Armidale next week. This workshop will suit businesses seeking to initiate export activities or export-ready businesses looking to consolidate their knowledge and maximise long-term gains.

The workshop aims to increase your business’ export readiness. It will include several informative discussions on topical issues for exporters, including export fundamentals and reviewing your business capacity and capability.

The workshop will give an introduction to:

  • Growing a global business
  • Selecting the right market
  • Export marketing
  • Freight logistics and pricing
  • eCommerce
  • Learn about government support and grants

The workshop will be held from 9:00 am to 3:00pm on Wednesday the 22nd of June. Attendance is free and includes morning tea and lunch, but registration is essential.

Showcasing the Beauty of Rural and Remote Australia

The National Rural Health Alliance is seeking entries into their 2022 Friends Photo and Poetry Competition which celebrates life in rural and remote Australia.

Entries may be images or words that focus on the theme #loverural and that portray things such as:

  • everyday life in rural areas
  • personal experiences with drought, flood, or bushfires
  • providing health services
  • parenting children
  • caring for others
  • farming
  • relationships
  • education
  • coping with isolation and social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic

Finalists in each category will be exhibited at the National Rural Health Conference in Brisbane in August. Conference delegates will select the winners, which will be announced at the conference. First and second prizes will be awarded for each category, valued at $500 and $250, respectively.

Entries are open until the 15th of July to all rural and remote health community members, excluding professional photographers and poets. Further details and entry form is available on their National Rural Health Alliance 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.

 

Heywire Youth Innovation Grants - 2022
Closes: 18th of July 2022 - 5:00 pm
Value: Up to $10,000
Run By: Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal

FRRR and donor partners collaborate with ABC Heywire to help communities take action on the ideas generated by young Australians who attend the annual Heywire Regional Youth Summit.

Funding is available for communities across Australia to adopt, adapt and act on one of the ideas developed by these Australians at the Heywire Youth Ideas Lab.

The six ideas for 2022 are:

  • The Allies Project -  How might we celebrate the strength of regional LGBTQIA+ people and educate rural communities on the importance of being an ally?
  • Hands on Learning - How might we support young people to learn in ways that work for them?
  • Take Care - How might we promote healthier communities in regional Australia?
  • SPIN: Supporting People In Need - How might we improve morale in regional communities?
  • Triple H: Humanity Helping Homelessness - How might we reduce homelessness and support people who are experiencing it?
  • Fusion Festival - How might we raise cultural awareness and stop racism in regional communities?

 

Disaster Risk Reduction Fund - Local and Regional Risk Reduction Stream
Closes: 1st of July 2022
Value: $50,000 to $1.5 Million
Run By: Resilience NSW

Under two funding pathways, Pathway 1 and Pathway 2, the Local & Regional Risk Reduction stream aims to deliver direct risk reduction and risk mitigation solutions, build capabilities in disaster risk reduction, and promote collaboration between local communities, councils and other stakeholders.

Pathway 1 offers funding of $50,000 to $300,000, for projects run by a single entity with a focus on implementing smaller scale, place-based solutions to prevent new, reduce existing and manage residual disaster risk.

Pathway 2 offers funding of $300,000 to $1.5 million, for projects delivered by a consortium of organisations or partnerships with a focus on strategic initiatives that create long-term regional benefit and build risk reduction capability building efforts across communities or regions.

 

Inclusive Employment Grants
Closes: 29th of June 2022
Value: Up to $50,000
Run By: Westpac

The Inclusive Employment Program is designed to support small and local community organisations and social enterprises that are creating jobs and training opportunities for individuals and communities experiencing disadvantage.

The grants seek to support innovative, collaborative and place-based approaches by organisations building a more inclusive economy and resilient communities in response to the significant impacts across Australia of COVID, the changing nature of work, and climate change.

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