In This Issue:
Welcome From The Chair
Dear Northern Inlanders,
A warm welcome back for 2014 and I hope you enjoyed a relaxing break with family and friends. This year promises to be a challenging one given the lack of summer rain and with around half of our regional economy based around agricultural production, the flow-on impacts are a cause for concern. Here’s hoping for some good rain soon.
One of RDANI’s key projects for 2014 will be the development of an online shopping portal which will allow local businesses in each of our 13 shires to establish an online retail presence. With the growth in online shopping and the preference for Australian-based websites, this is a critical project to drive economic growth within the region and allow us to compete with metropolitan and overseas based businesses on a level playing field.
All The Best,
Mal Peters, Chair
Region’s Summer Promo Competition A Sizzler
part of RDANI’s Come On Inland initiative, an exciting new competition has been launched in a bid to promote the region as an ideal place for families and new residents to relocate to. Residents are being asked to share their stories on the best things about our region in summer. An IPAD Mini valued at $399 is up for grabs.
The ‘Come on Summer’ competition is part of the successful Come On Inland campaign for RDANI, which focuses on attracting businesses and families to relocate to the Northern Inland Region from metropolitan and coastal New South Wales as well as South East Queensland.
To complement this campaign and following on from previous competitions, we are interested in hearing from local residents in either 100 words or less, or a photo, or a 30 second video clip, what the best thing is about summer in the Northern Inland region.
There is no stronger or compelling advertising than hearing from local people about why our region is a fantastic place to live, work and play, and with close to 1000 likes on Come On Inland’s Facebook page, the entries will receive broad exposure through the power of social media.
The ‘Come On Summer’ competition is open to all residents in the region and closes at 5pm on Friday 31st January. Now is your chance to contribute, through the Come On Inland Summer Competition. Forget the heat wave, this will be the hottest thing this summer.
For further information please visit www.comeoninland.com.au or on Facebook.
Northern Inland Skilled Migration Information
The skilled migration section of our website: www.rdani.org.au has just had a major revamp. Comprehensive, yet clear and concise information on the visas assessed by Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (NSW) is now just a click away.
The two visa programs assessed and supported by RDA Northern Inland are:
• The “Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) (Employer nominated) Sub-class 187 visa”
• The “Skilled Nominated Regional (NSW nominated) Sub-class 489 visa”
Complete details on these programs are now on the website, with links to relevant forms and informative documents from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.
RDA Northern Inland is the only certifying body for skilled migration visas, within the Local Government Areas of Armidale Dumaresq, Tenterfield, Glen Innes, Guyra, Uralla, Walcha, Tamworth Regional, Liverpool Plains, Gunnedah, Narrabri, Moree Plains, Gwydir and Inverell.
Employers who cannot fill required positions locally are reminded that sponsoring a skilled worker from overseas could be the answer but the process can take some time so it is important to learn about what is involved as soon as possible.
Any employers needing seasonal, unskilled workers are encouraged is use the free Australian Government website: http://jobsearch.gov.au/harvesttrail/
Employers should also be aware that the ‘Skilled Nominated Regional (NSW nominated) Sub-class 489 visa’ is a pathway to permanent residency. Jobseekers in the region with that visa may not have permanent residency but it is important that employers understand that they will be eligible for it, once they have worked for at least 12 months and lived for at least two years in a regional area. For further information, contact our Skilled Migration Officer, Gary Fry on 0427 008572.
Comments Sought On Final Local Government Review Reports
The region’s MPs have encouraged community members and stakeholder bodies to provide feedback to the NSW Government, following the release of the final two reports from the latest local government review.
Local Government Minister Don Page released the final reports from the Independent Local Government Review Panel and the Local Government Acts Taskforce on Wednesday, 8 January, 2014.
Councils and the community now were given until 7 March, 2014 to make comments on both reports.
“The feedback received will help the Minister and the government develop its response to the final reports and chart the future of local government in NSW for the next three decades,” Member for Northern Tablelands, Adam Marshall said.
“I’m very pleased that in releasing the reports, the Minister reaffirmed his belief in a strong and open relationship between State and local government and that the government’s commitment to no forced council amalgamations will continue.”
However, some amalgamations in the region have been suggested in the recent review.
Both reports and online feedback options are available on the NSW Division of Local Government’s website www.dlg.nsw.gov.au
Five More Regional Transport Plans Released
On 23 December, 2013, the NSW Government released regional transport plans for the Western, Central West, Murray and Murrumbidgee, New England and North West, and Central Coast regions of NSW.
Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Roads and Ports Duncan Gay said the plans provided a strategic direction for the delivery of transport infrastructure and and services in the state’s regions over the next 20 years.
“The plans outline our continued commitment to investment in roads and public transport services and infrastructure, walking and cycling, community transport services, road safety and economic development,” Ms Berejiklian said.
Mr Gay said the actions set out in the regional transport plans reflected the extensive feedback received during community consultation, which included public forums in each region and meetings with local councils and key stakeholders.
Work will continue to prioritise actions for the future in conjunction with local councils, so they can be delivered as funding becomes available. The final plans are available at: www.transport.nsw.gov.au/media-centre/publications-reports
Additional Tree-Change Incentive
Metropolitan long-term renters can now move to regional NSW with the help of a NSW Government Regional Relocation Grant.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional Infrastructure & Services Andrew Stoner said, from today, city-based long-term renters looking to buy a home in regional NSW could apply for $7,000 in NSW Government funding.
Mr Stoner said a separate new incentive of $10,000, aimed at encouraging more people to relocate from metropolitan areas to regional NSW for employment, also came into operation on 6 January, 2014.
“The expanded Regional Relocation Grant and the new Skilled Regional Relocation Incentive will help ease Sydney’s tight rental market and population pressures,” Mr Stoner said.
“The grants are designed to boost population growth in regional areas to meet the expected increase in demand for jobs being driven by the Government’s investment in regional infrastructure and business growth.
“More than 2500 families have so far made the sea or tree change under the Regional Relocation Grant scheme since it began in 2011.
“Many of these families have spoken positively about the affordability of homes and the change in lifestyle, including an easier commute to work, fresh local foods, a clean environment and friendly communities.
“Eligibility for the $7,000 Regional Relocation Grant has been expanded from only including city-based homeowners to include long-term renters in metropolitan Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong who purchase homes in regional NSW. This grant is designed to assist with the costs of relocating.
“We have also introduced the new Skilled Regional Relocation Incentive of $10,000 to move to regional NSW for full-time employment, rather than to buy a home.
Applicants can only apply for either the Regional Relocation Grant or the Skilled Regional Relocation Incentive, not both.
Moree VIC’s Golden Girls Of Tourism
Some of the most welcoming smiles in NSW are still beaming in the North West. The Moree Visitor Information Centre won the Visitor Information Services Award at the NSW Tourism Awards on 28 November, 2013.
This was the second year in a row the Moree VIC has come away with gold.
To be eligible to win such an award an organisation must continue to show growth over a 12-month period.
“We’ve grown our membership numbers 150 per cent in the last 10 years and are constantly improving visitation to the area through coach groups and different marketing strategies,” Tourism Moree CEO, Tammy Elbourne said.
Small Biz Bus Northern Inland Bound
The Small Biz Bus is a mobile advisory and information service for small business that travels across NSW, delivering face to face, personalised assistance.
At each stop, business experts help local operators to gain a new perspective on their business, as well as giving them additional tools and insights on their path to success. The Small Biz Bus also links small business operators to their local Small Biz Connect business advisory service, which provides assistance throughout the year.
An initiative of the NSW Government, services on the bus are available at no cost to small business operators.
The Small Biz Bus will soon touch down in the Liverpool Plains…
Address: Anzac Square Car park (adjacent to the Railway Station)
Address: Single Street, Werris Creek (adjacent to the public restrooms)
To book, please call: 1300 134 359.
$100,000 Available For Aboriginal Regional Arts Projects
Member for Northern Tablelands is encouraging local Aboriginal arts organisations and individual artists to apply for a share of $100,000 in NSW Government funding to help showcase and promote the Aboriginal arts and cultural sector across the State.
Mr Marshall said the Aboriginal Regional Arts Fund (ARAF) aimed to support projects that promoted regional Aboriginal artists, and Aboriginal arts and culture in NSW.
“The fund offers individual professional artists up to $3,000 and organisations up $15,000 to help them showcase their work,” he said.
“Arts projects with Aboriginal people in key creative roles, or which incorporate Aboriginal people as key presenters of the work, are eligible to apply for this funding.”
The State MP said Aboriginal artists and arts groups in regional communities contribute to the social and cultural richness of the nation.
“NSW is home to the largest Aboriginal community in Australia and NSW Aboriginal artists are producing high-quality works that fuse traditional stories and culture with contemporary art forms and media,” Mr Marshall said.
“It is important to do all we can to help Aboriginal artists and arts groups to succeed.
“Fostering a vibrant NSW Aboriginal arts and cultural sector provides positive role models and pathways for younger generations of Aboriginal kids.”
Mr Marshall said the funding will support Aboriginal communities in regional NSW to explore and express their cultural identities.
“It also supports professional Aboriginal artists across NSW so their work can continue to win acclaim from art lovers, collectors and critics across the globe,” he said.
ARAF funding is available for projects such as workshops, performances, exhibitions, festivals or events, and artist-in-residence programs that start after 1 July, 2014.
Applications close on Monday, 10 March, 2014.
For more information and to apply, visit the Arts NSW website www.arts.nsw.gov.au, email email@example.com, or phone 1800 358 594 (free call within NSW).
What's On In The Northern Inland
Guyra Lamb and Potato Festival
Thursday, 15 January and concludes on Monday 27th of February
Stalls packed with local produce and hospitality are on the New England Highway in Guyra. Events such as the Guyra’s Antique Machinery Group hold a rally and Swap Meet and Military Vehicle Rally to be found at the Guyra Showground. For further information, go to: www.guyra-lamb-potato.com or follow them on facebook.
The Tamworth Country Music Festival
Friday, 17th of January to Sunday, 26th of January
The biggest Country Music Festival in Australia, with hundreds of artists and concerts, in a broad range of venues and styles. For further information and ticket sales, go to: www.tcmf.com.au
Australia Day 2014
Celebrate Australia Day on Sunday, 26 January
Visit your local council’s website for details of your Australian Day activities. Enjoy the Aussie spirit, the family and community atmosphere, with local Australia Day Awards, citizenship ceremonies and activities such as tug-o-war and equally traditional refreshments, like watermelon.
Film Maker’s Alert: Location Scouting Workshop
Thursday 6 and Friday 7 February
A two-day professional location scouting and production workshop at the Armidale Film School, TAFE New England, Beardy Street, Armidale. Cost: $125, including a workshop with Film & Television Production & Location manager, Brigitte Zeisig (with a field trip), as well as a catered networking event. Places are limited. Further details are available on the Arts North West website here.
UNE Summer Retreat To Discuss Positive Business Change
Friday 7 February — Sunday 9 February
Titled ‘A Deeper Conversation about Change’, the UNE Business School is organising a professional development summer retreat 7-9th February, at the UNE Armidale campus. It promises to engage participants to lead change in ways that build positive organisational outcomes. The program will deliver skills and insights into communication, ethical practice, creativity and innovation. There will be expert speakers to lead masterclasses and opportunities to discuss the more hidden challenges of bringing about change, and showcasing the beautiful New England.
For further information, go to UNE's website or on facebook where updates are being regularly posted.
Art and All That Jazz
Tuesday the 28th of February to Sunday 2nd of March
A festival celebrating the arts, beginning with an Art Exhibition Opening at the Wallabadah Hall, followed by music and light refreshments. There will be workshops, stalls and entertainment through the weekend. Follow the festival’s updates on their Facebook page.
Women’s Forum – Be Inspired!
Tuesday 28th of February
Gunnedah will host the 2014 Women’s Forum on Friday 28 February and would like to encourage women from across the district to come along and hear from a diverse range of speakers on a number of interesting topics. The Forum will focus on the theme “The Power to Dream, Believe, Achieve,” a mantra of life. Registrations close Monday, 3 February. For further information and to download a registration form, go to Gunnedah Shire Council's website here.
And the region’s agricultural show season will kick off with Tenterfield on 7 & 8 February….
For further information, go to Tenterfield Shire Council's website here.