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January 2020 Newsletter


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In this Issue

Welcome from the Chair

Russell Stewart - Chair

Dear Northern Inlanders,

Welcome to our first newsletter for 2020!

The recent bushfires around our country are devastating our communities and wildlife has been like nothing we have ever seen before. There is a wide range of assistance available to help the recovery processes and to help those affected in our region, we have created a specialised bushfire assistance page in our website.

The over 180 trucks that arrived in Armidale recently as part of the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners were an incredible vision on the road and of Aussie sprit. The show of support that lined the street of the communities they passed through was evidence to how much their kindness means to not only the farmers receiving the hay, but also everyone in our region.

It was also great to see Bernie Shakeshaft receive national recognition as the Local Hero at the Australian of the Year Awards for his work with Backtrack. Our youth need our support to thrive and become positive contributors to our communities, and Backtrack is doing amazing things for our youth.

Regards,

Russell Stewart
Chair

Employers Share Their Skilled Migration Experiences

RDANI has produced a new video that highlights the positive outcomes achieved through skilled migration. Skilled migrants have been an important factor in the region’s development. Whether bringing skilled migrants to the region through a skilled regional State sponsored visa or recommending a regional employer sponsorship to the Department of Home Affairs we have helped local businesses to find highly skilled labour, so they can grow or simply maintain functionality and service levels. Qualified and experienced migrants get to enjoy the great Northern Inland NSW lifestyle, as they enrich our multicultural communities and contribute to our economies. In the highlights video, we show that regional management of a regional skilled migration program is the optimal approach in the Northern Inland.

The diverse employer case studies incorporated in the latest video include:

  • Apollo Engineering expanding from 29 employees to 36 employees in 14 months thanks to skilled migration
  • ICT International finding Electrical Engineers to handle their growing business
  • Urbenville hospital hiring desperately needed clinical nursing staff in remote area
  • Australian Cotton Research Institute in Narrabri hiring an Agricultural Scientist to help with their important work
  • A remote farm, Mulligan Farms ‘Retreat’, finding a full-time diesel mechanic when most workers had moved from the area to work in the mines

If you’re a regional employer struggling to find skilled staff, call Gary Fry at our office on 6771 0700 to find out how we can assist.

Assistance for Bushire Affected Businesses and Individuals

The bushfires over the last six months have devistated many communities, including in the Northern Inland. In response, there are is a wide variety of assistance available for individuals and businesses that have been affected. To help Northern Inlanders who have been impacted, we have created a specialised Bushfire Assistance page on our website with a listing of the assistance that is available.

Some of the currently available assistance includes:

Disaster Recovery Payment
Value: $800 per child and $1000 per adult
Applicants may be eligible for a once-off payment of $800 per child (up from $400) and $1,00 per adult. Previous applicants who have already received the lower payment will automatically receive the additional funds.

Special Disaster Grant - Bushfires
Value: $75,000
Grants are provided to help pay for the costs of clean up, reinstatement activities and emergencymeasures associated with the immediate recovery of primary production enterprises.

Small Business Bushfire Recovery Grants
Value: Up to $50,000
Recovery grants are available to eligible small businessesand non-profit organisations that have suffered direct damage to their premises or equipment from the bushfires and intend to re-establish in the community.

Disaster Recovery Allowance
Value: Equivalent of Newstart or Youth Allowance
Provides support for people who can show they lost income as a direct result of the bushfires in New South Wales in August 2019 through to January 2020.

ATO Support for Bushfire Affected Businesses and Individuals
Value: Support
The ATO is offering a range of assistance including time extensions, refund prioritisation and fee reductions, many without needing to apply.

Red Cross Emergency Grants
Value: $10,000
Emergency grants are open across Australia to people whose primary place of residence has been destroyed or rendered permanently uninhabitable as the result of bushfires from 1 July 2019.

Disaster Relief Loans - Small business
Value: Up to $130,000
Small businesses who have been directly affected by a declared natural disaster including floods, fires or storm damage, may be eligible for low interest loans of up to $130,000.

Disaster Relief Loans - Primary producers
Value: Up to $130,000
Primary producers directly affected by a declared natural disaster who are in urgent and genuine need of assistance, may be eligible for low interest loans of up to $130,000.

Disaster Relief Loans - Sporting and Recreation Clubs
Value: Up to $10,000
Natural disaster financial assistance is available to help sporting and recreation clubs directly affected by a declared natural disaster including flood, fire or storm damage.

Disaster Relief Loans - Not for Profit Organisations
Value: Up to $25,000
Natural disaster relief loans assist voluntary non-profit organisations directly affected by a declared natural disaster including flood, fire or storm damage.

Natural Disaster Transport Subsidy
Value: Up to $15,000
A natural disaster assistance transport subsidy is available to eligible farmers who are affected by a declared natural disaster event.

Service providers and retailers are also offering discounts and support for bushfire victims and volunteer firefighters. Some banks are offering to waive fees to allow early closure of term deposits, and assistance with mortgage repayments, phone companies are offering to waive montly bills, and retailers are offering discounts. Details for the support being provided is available on their applicable websites.

Serivce NSW is also providing help through their Bushfire Customer Care Specalists that can advise you on what assistance you may be eligible for, help you access government programs and initiatives, and will update you as new programs become available.  You can contact these specialsists by vising a Service NSW Centre, calling 13 77 88, vising the bushfire section of the Service NSW website.

NSW Government Bushfire Recovery Work Prioritises Local Businesses

NSW Government agencies undertaking rebuild and recovery work in bushfire-affected communities will put local businesses first in an effort to stimulate local economies.

Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for Disaster Recovery John Barilaro said the NSW Government has launched a new business portal and a concierge service to help local and regional businesses gain access to government agency procurement opportunities in fire-affected areas.

“Local businesses who want to help with the bushfire recovery process can now register on the online portal, which is designed to be quick and free of red tape,” Mr Barilaro said. “This is the NSW Government putting locals first. Our regional communities are outstanding in emergency situations and we need to be as vigilant in recovery as they are in the face of disaster.”

Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope has issued a direction to all government agencies to source work from local businesses as part of the bushfire recovery process.

“This is about ensuring we provide local businesses with opportunities to access government procurement activities and give them first preference to provide the services required to rebuild their communities,” Mr Tudehope said. “Many of these local businesses can offer services needed in the recovery phase. For example, a local business could repair a local school damaged by bushfires,” he said.

The portal on the Tenders NSW website will allow Government agencies and councils across the state to upload details of available work so the whole supply chain is aware of upcoming opportunities. Since the portal was launched this week, more than 300 suppliers have registered.

This direction comes as the NSW and Commonwealth Governments yesterday also announced the cost of the clean-up of residential and commercial properties would be split 50:50 between them, with the works led by contractor Laing O’Rourke. Laing O’Rourke will work with Public Works Advisory NSW to ensure local suppliers and subcontractors are engaged where possible for the clean-up.

Local Backtrack Hero Recognised

Bernie Shakeshaft

On Saturday night our own local hero, Bernie Shakeshaft received well deserved national recognition as the winner of the Local Hero category at the Australian of the Year Awards held in Canberra.

After seeing the plight of disadvantaged youth in his community, Bernie decided to take action. Starting in 2006 with a shed and an idea, Bernie founded the BackTrack Youth Works Program, turning around the lives of some of Australia’s most vulnerable kids. Using the skills he developed growing up and as a jackaroo in the Northern Territory learning from the Aboriginal trackers, Bernie developed an award-winning program that uses animal-assisted learning, agricultural skills and a residential facility.

He and his extraordinary team have helped more than 1,000 children reconnect with their education, training, families and community, offering them love and support to live out their hopes and dreams. The BackTrack program, now the subject of a documentary, Backtrack Boys, has the support of magistrates, police and mayors. It has helped decrease Armidale’s youth crime rate by more than 38 per cent, saving millions of dollars and keeping children out of correctional systems. Fifty-two-year-old Bernie’s kind, effective approach is life changing and inspiring.

Narrabri Local to Represent at Heywire

Fenella Jamieson

ABC’s Heywire competition has been run each year in partnership with the Australian  Government since 1998. It provides people aged 16-22 living in regional or rural Australia with the chance to share their experiences of life in regional Australia and over 11,000 young Australians have taken part. Anyone with a story to tell about life outside of the big cities is encouraged to enter, with entries of any medium accepted, including text, video, audio and photo.

This year, Fenella Jamieson from Narrabri has been selected for her story My town is hurting but I still hold hope for its future. As part of her prize she will have an all-expenses paid trip to attend the Heywire Regional Youth Summit in Canberra next month along with 39 other young Australians. The summit provides winners an opportunity to inspire each other, develop ideas and share stories to help make life in regional Australia even better.

At the summit, winners ideas will be developed and have a chance to become reality through the Heywire grant program run by the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal.

Moree Inland Rail Office Now Open

Angela Doering

The Inland Rail Moree Office is now open, providing a greater link between the local community and Government leading up to and throughout the construction of the rail track.

Long-time local resident Angela Doering has been appointed by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development as the first Inland Rail Regional Liaison Officer (RLO) to be based in Moree to work with communities and local businesses along the alignment.

The Moree office will cover Inland Rail from Narrabri in New South Wales to the Queensland border and help locals to identify and connect to the benefits of Inland Rail. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack said the office would provide a greater link between community and Government.

"Inland Rail is expected to support 5,000 jobs in New South Wales and provide a boost of more than $2.5 billion to the state economy, so it’s vital that we have specialist expertise working with businesses and local communities to connect people to these benefits,” Mr McCormack said. "This office will provide the opportunity for Moree and surrounding communities to talk directly to Government about regional development outcomes and economic opportunities available ahead of the construction of the next section of Inland Rail – the Narrabri to North Star (N2NS).”

Member for Parkes and Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government, Mark Coulton said Moree and the surrounding region is uniquely positioned to drive future freight productivity through road and rail connections to Inland Rail. “Moree is already one of the highest producing agricultural shires in Australia, Narrabri has just successfully launched its Inland Port concept and Gwydir has real aspirations about benefiting from Inland Rail,” Mr Coulton said. “Our investment through Inland Rail builds the essential connections that this region needs to further grow and strengthen their markets, and with the Moree Regional Office now open we can really focus on maximising those outcomes.”

“I’m thrilled that local resident Angela Doering has been appointed to the Moree office and will be on the ground to support the implementation of Australian Government programs such as the Inland Rail Interface Improvement Program and expansion of the CSIRO’s Inland Rail TraNSIT study to model potential Inland Rail cost savings.”

For more information about Inland Rail and the regional offices visit www.InlandRail.gov.au

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.

Volunteer Grants

Closes: EOI's Close in February 2020
Value: $1,000 to $5,000
Run By: Australian Government's Department of Social Services

Volunteer Grants aim to support the efforts of Australia’s volunteers as well as to encourage and increase participation in volunteering. The grants provide small amounts of money that organisations and community groups can use to help their volunteers.

The objectives of Volunteer Grants are to:

  1. help community organisations to support the efforts of Australia’s volunteers
  2. help community organisations to support the inclusion of vulnerable people through volunteering
  3. encourage, support and increase participation in volunteering.

The intended outcome of the program is to strengthen community functioning by increasing participation in volunteering.

Applicants must be nominated by the Federal Government Member for their electorate through an EOI Process. Successful EOI's will be invited to submit a full application by the 6th of April 2020.

Funding of up to $66,000 is available per Federal electorate.

New England Electorate (Barnaby Joyce)
EOI's close: 7th of Febraury 2020 5pm
Further Information and EOI Form: http://www.barnabyjoyce.com.au/News/Releases/2019-20-Volunteer-Grants-closing-soon-in-the-New-England/

Parkes Electorate (Mark Coulton)
EOI's close: 14th of February 2020 5pm
Further Information and EOI Form: https://www.markcoulton.com.au/federal-funding-on-offer-to-support-local-volunteers/

Package Assisting Small Exporters
Closes: 28th of February 2020
Value: Unspecified - $5M total pool for 3 years
Run By: Australian Government Department of Agriculture

Under the program, grants are available to organisations and individuals for projects that support small exporters exporting dairy, fish, eggs, grain, plant, horticulture, meat and animal products, as defined in the Export Control Act 1982 and its subordinate legislation. For the purposes of these grants, small exporters are defined as having:

  • annual revenues from export activities of less than $10 million for each registered establishment
  • less than $20 million total revenue for both domestic and export activities

The objective of the program is to assist small exporters in the dairy, fish, eggs, grain, plant, horticulture, meat and animal product industries to overcome barriers to market access.

Country Show Sponsorship Packages
Closes: Ongoing for 2020
Value: $5,000
Run By: NSW Government Department of Premier and Cabinet

Funding is now available to support the costs of organising and running country shows in drought and bushfire impacted areas of regional NSW.

Eligible applicants are show organising committees.

Other requirements:

  • The country show must be in regional NSW (outside of Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong metropolitan areas) to be eligible for sponsorship
  • Applications are limited to one NSW Government sponsorship per show in a calendar year
  • Only shows that are going ahead in 2020, or combining with nearby shows, are eligible to receive funding
  • If a show has already been cancelled, show organising committees are encouraged to make contact to discuss what other funding support may be available
  • Shows that have received other NSW Government funding support to be held in 2020 are not eligible
  • Applications for funding must be submitted before the show has taken place. No funding can be approved if the application is made after the show has been held.

Shows that are combining with other shows from the surrounding area may be granted a higher amount if requested. Initially, priority will be given to shows being held in the first half of 2020.

What's On in the Northern Inland

Tenterfield Show
Friday 7th to Saturday 8th of February
Tenterfield

Trivia Night for the Firies
Saturday 8th of February
Narrabri

Uralla Show
Saturday 8th of February
Uralla

Kentucky Old Time Dance
Saturday 8th of February
Kentucky

Entrepreneurs Hour: What’s Next for Rural Innovation?
Monday 10th of Febraury
Moree

Entrepreneurs Hour: Carbon Credit Market
Wednesday 12th of Febraury
Armidale

Seniors Festival
Thursday 13th to Friday 21st of February
Quirindi

Farmers Community Connect
Friday 14th of February
Inverell

Eat Street
Friday 14th of February
Tenterfield

Antiques & Collectables Fair
Friday 14th of February
Armidale

Gourmet Fiesta
Friday 14th to Saturday 15th of February
Glen Innes

Glen Innes Show
Friday 14th to Sunday 16th of February
Glen Innes

RFS Fundraising Concert
Saturday 15th of February
Uralla

Quirindi Rodeo
Saturday 15th of February
Quirindi

Seniors Festival
Monday 17th to Friday 21st of February
Narrabri

Guyra Show
Friday 21st to Saturday 22nd of February
Guyra

Weeds and Waterholes Bash
Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd of Febarury
Delungra

Cinema Under the Stars
Friday 21st of February
Tamworth

Cinema Under the Stars
Saturday 22nd of February
Armidale

Ashford Show
Saturday 22nd of February
Ashford

Steam Dreaming Festival
Saturday 22nd of February
Armidale

Jobs Information Session
Thursday 27th of February
Moree

Inverell Show
Friday 28th of February
Inverell

Twilight Food Markets
Friday 28th of February
Armidale

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