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General Newsletter - 1st of November 2022

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In this Issue


Welcome from the Chair

Russell Stewart - Chair

Dear Northern Inlanders,

It is hard to believe, but once again, the resilience of our communities is being tested by the flooding in our region. Floods are devastating not only to our communities but also to our mental health and financial security. If you have been impacted, be sure to look into the available mental and financial support. No one should have to face this challenge alone.

I was disappointed to hear that round six of the Building Better Regions Fund has been cancelled due to the issues raised by the Australian National Audit Office. I know that proponents put forward a range of projects in our region and that a lot of work was put into preparing those applications. I hope that support can be gained for these projects through the newly announced Growing Regions Program and the Regional Precincts and Partnerships Programs. If you are preparing a grant application, be sure to tap into the wealth of knowledge and support our team can provide you by contacting our office.

Our twelfth AGM was held this month, which provided an opportunity to reflect on our achievements over the past year. We are proud to contribute to our region's future, which is the best place to live in the country (although I may be a touch biased!). I am proud to be the Chair of such a great team and the contribution of every Committee and Staff member is crucial to our success. I would like to make a special mention of our Committee Members, Les Parsons OAM and Ian Lobsey OAM. They have served on our Committee as RDA-NI and the preceeding Regional Development Board for over twenty years. It is this kind of dedication to making a positive contribution to our region and their communities that makes our region so great.


Russell Stewart

Assistance for Those Impacted by Flooding

Flooding events such as those in our region over the last months significantly impact mental health and finances.

It is vital to take care of your mental health during the event, during the clean-up phase and while you recover. A range of online resources is available from the ABCLifeline and Headspace, specifically on recovering from a natural disaster. There is also a range of hotlines available if you want someone to talk to, including:

• Lifeline on 13 11 14
• Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636
• Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800

There is a range of financial assistance available, and the Service NSW Disaster Assistance Finder can help you find what is available based on your circumstances.

New Regional Funding Programs Announced

The Australian Government wants Australia’s regions to thrive, and the Federal Budget handed down last week will provide investment in regional Australia to help build a better future. This Budget honours election commitments and ensures policies and expenditures are focused on productive investments in regional communities, delivered transparently and fairly.

The Australian Government is committing $1 billion over three years to two new regional programs, the Growing Regions Program and the Regional Precincts and Partnerships Program. In addition, the Government is redesigning regional investments, including grant programs, to ensure projects that represent good value receive funding.

The Growing Regions Program will deliver investment in regional infrastructure and community projects by providing access to funding for capital works for community and economic infrastructure over three years. This funding will be provided through an open and competitive basis, with grants awarded based on merit. The program will be available to local government, state and territory governments, not-for-profit organisations, and partnerships between smaller organisations and local government entities. Private enterprises and for-profit entities will be ineligible for the program.

The Regional Precincts and Partnerships Program will provide a strategic, nationally consistent mechanism for funding and coordinating projects that support the transformation of important locations across communities in regions, regional cities and rural Australia. It will also provide a means for delivering all future regional partnerships to help regions to move towards net-zero emissions, a decarbonised economy and sustained regional growth. This program will invite proposals from State, Territory and Local Governments and not-for-profit organisations to work in collaboration to apply for a Precinct Partnership.

The Government will also deliver election commitments in regional and rural communities through the Investing in Our Communities Program and Priority Community Infrastructure Program.

Building Better Regions Fund Round 6 Cancelled

Established in 2016, the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) has provided $1.15 Billion of funding to 1,293 projects over five completed funding rounds. However, the Australian Government has announced that they will not proceed with the Building Better Regions Fund Round 6.

The Australian National Audit Office conducted an audit of all six rounds of the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) to assess whether the award of funding under the BBRF was effective and consistent with the Commonwealth Grant Rules and Guidelines. While the audit found that the award of funding was partly effective and consistent with the guidelines, they also found that “funding decisions were not appropriately informed by departmental advice and the basis for the funding decisions has not been appropriately documented.” The audit also raised issues with how funding was allocated and stated that: “65% of infrastructure project stream applications approved for funding were not those assessed as being the most meritorious in the departmental assessment process.”

The Australian Government has also advised that they will close down the Community Development Grants Program, and no new projects will be funded. The Australian Government will provide a pathway for those CDG projects properly accounted for up to the Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Outlook to be funded through the new election commitment programs.

All contracted projects will be honoured, and a further 82 projects that date back to 2016 and that are yet to be contracted will have six months to finalise negotiations before the program ends.

The full performance audit report of the BBRF by the Australian National Audit Office of the BBRF program, including methodology, findings, recommendations, and replies, is available on their website.

Highlands Hub in Glen Innes Open for Business

The ‘Old Holden Building’ in Glen Innes has been transformed into a hub of productivity with the opening of the Highlands Hub. Locals and visitors can utilise hot desks, meeting rooms and a cosy community co-working lounge. The Hub provides the community with access to an innovative new space to develop ideas, and conduct training, workshops or conferences.

Adam Marshall, Member for Northern Tablelands, joined Mayor Rob Banham and local community members to officially open the facility this month. “This new space will be the launchpad of exciting new opportunities for Glen Innes,” Mr Marshall said. “Council has successfully transformed ‘The Old Holden Building’ on Grey Street into a new co-working, training, and meeting facility providing the community, business, visitors, and the region with opportunities to connect, create, innovate, and grow… Well done to Margot Davis and Stevie Newsome on a superb job turning this vision into reality.”

Glen Innes Severn Mayor Rob Banham said the Highlands Hub was more than a place and a space. “This hub provides Glen Innes with the opportunity to be cast as a cut above the rest when it comes to doing business in a small rural town environment,” Cr Banham said. “It represents a bold and brave step in a positive future direction. It changes the perception of Glen Innes as a place to do business, to innovate and to invest locally. I would like to thank everyone who supported this project, including the Federal and State Governments, the Council, local businesses and the community at large.” he said.

“The Highlands Hub will over time prove to be a happening place for everyone who wants to seize the opportunities that it presents and there are already plans underway for training sessions, workshops, and many other activities. Embracing change, recognising potential, and forging ahead in positive directions paves the way for success for the whole community.” said Mayor Rob Banham.

Glen Innes Severn Council received a $616,861 grant for the project last year from the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, jointly funded by the Commonwealth and the NSW Government under Disaster Funding Arrangements.

The facilities are available for an hour, a day, a week, a month or longer to suit your needs. If you’re looking for a space to hire, meet, learn or teach get in touch with the Highlands Hub team or book directly online at https://gleninneshighlandshub.com

Help Shape the Future of the Great Outdoors

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment would like your input to help shape the future of open spaces through their NSW Regional Outdoor Survey. Access to public open space is important to support our health and well-being and helps make our communities a great place to live. Through the survey, they are asking regional communities what they love about the great outdoors to help inform local and state government community planning.

“Access to open space is incredibly important to the health and happiness of our communities. We want to know what is important to the people of NSW in their open spaces” said Fiona Morrison, Commissioner of Open Space. “Whether it be picnicking with friends and family, walking the dog, jogging, cycling, or just relaxing in the park, we want to hear how you access the great outdoors.”

The survey takes only a few minutes to complete and will help build an understanding of the needs and wants of our communities and help plan for the future.

Featured Grants and Funding Opportunities

Below are some featured grants and funding opportunities from the multitude of open grants listed in the Grants and Funding Opportunities area of 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 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, to receive monthly summaries of currently open grants.

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.


Local Sport Grant Program
Closes: 21st of November 2022 - 1:00 pm
Value: $2,000 to $10,000
Run By: NSW Government Office of Sport

The Local Sport Grant Program aims to support grassroots sporting clubs to increase participation, host events, improve access and enhance sport and recreation facilities.

Through this Program the Office of Sport is working towards:

  • Participation: Everyone in NSW participating in sport and active recreation throughout their life.
  • Places and Spaces: Everyone in NSW having access to places and spaces for sport and active recreation.
  • Sustainability: The sector continues to grow sport and active recreation across NSW.

Funding of $50,000 per electorate will be allocated to all 93 electorates throughout NSW. Applicants must identify their ‘home ground’ address to ensure the application is assessed in the correct electorate e.g., your training ground.


Live Music Australia - Round 5
Closes: 17th of November 2022 - 11:30 pm
Value: Up to $100,000
Run By: Australian Government Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications

The Live Music Australia program will provide support to the live music sector, with a focus on music focused festivals presenting original Australian live music acts under round five.

To receive funding under Round 5 of the Live Music Australia program you will need to demonstrate your commitment to hosting a primarily music focused festival, committed to presenting original Australian live music acts. Multi-disciplinary arts or food festivals in which music as secondary function are not eligible to apply. Festivals that use multiple venues in a geographical area are eligible to apply, as are festivals that run over a longer period of time than one weekend a year.


Before and After School Care - Development Grant - 2022-23
Closes: 2nd of December 2022
Value: Up to $80,000
Run By: NSW Government Department of Education

The Development Grant Program will encourage and support projects, initiatives and programs that are designed to increase the viability of an approved service. This sustainability may be achieved through such things as increased utilisation and enrolments, more accessible and attractive programming, administrative efficiencies, staff training, marketing and more.

The objectives of the Development Grant Program are to support projects that will:

  • contribute to the financial viability of an approved BASC service
  • ensure access for NSW Government primary school students to approved BASC places


Access and Information Program - Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme
Closes: 28th of November 2022 - 11:00 am
Value: Based on activities to be conducted
Run By: Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care

Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme provides friendship and companionship to older people receiving Australian Government subsidised residential aged care or home care packages who are socially isolated. The department is holding an open competitive funding round to award community visitor grants to suitably qualified and experienced providers to deliver ACVVS in the community and residential aged care. The ACVVS will deliver services over three years from 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2026.

Funding for this round will be made available through four activities:

  • Activity 1: Delivery of the ACVVS to Australian  Government subsidised Residential Care and Home Care Package recipients
  • Activity 2: Network Members
  • Activity 3: Diversity, Complex Vulnerability and Cultural Advisors
  • Activity 4: Community of Practice Coordinators


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