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July 2011 Newsletter

In This Issue

Welcome From The Chair

Mal Peters, Chair

Dear Northern Inland Residents,

We’re now half way through what has turned out to be an eventful 2011. A number of issues are affecting local businesses with the impact of the Indonesian cattle export ban reducing local cattle producers’ income and a great deal of disquiet about coal seam gas exploration and its associated issues in the western parts of the region.

Northern Inland welcomes the NSW State Government’s new Regional Relocation Grants. These grants will offer $7000 to eligible individuals and families that sell a property in Sydney, Newcastle or Wollongong and buy a property in a regional area. All initiatives to entice new residents into our region help and RDANI is working on a number of other projects to compliment this move.

Our team have developed a strategy to convince Governments to revisit the way they calculate population growth to make sure the Northern Inland gets our fair share of funding.

I was very impressed by the blue sky thinking brought to a recent Chairman’s forum in Tamworth and intend implementing some of the initiatives over coming months. It is only with innovative thinking that we can solve some of the intractable problems our region is trying to tackle.

Watch this space.

Mal Peters, Chair

Chair’s Appointment to the Ministerial Advisory Council on Regional Australia

Chairman of Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) and former President of the NSW Farmers’ Association, Mal Peters has been appointed by Minister for Regional Australia Simon Crean to a new Ministerial Advisory Council on Regional Australia.

The Council will enable regional communities to have stronger backing at the highest level of government and its formation has been welcomed by Mal Peters.

“My appointment to the Ministerial Advisory Council will further enable me to represent the needs and aspirations of the Northern Inland region and provide input on policies that will directly contribute to the betterment of our communities. There are numerous key areas that will need to be tackled in terms of health, education, transport, roads and the list goes on, Mr Peters said.”

Minister for Regional Australia Simon Crean has said the new Council was a key part of the Government's strong commitment to regional communities across the country.

"We are determined to make sure regional communities can meet the challenge of an economy in transition and reach their full potential.

"That is why I am announcing the appointment of 11 eminent Australians to a new Ministerial Advisory Council on Regional Australia.

"Each member of the Council has been chosen because of their longstanding commitment to regional Australia. Together, they have a shared interest in the wellbeing of regional communities and the part Australia's regions play in the growth of the nation, Mr Crean said."

All of us at RDANI congratulate Mal on his prestigious appointment.

Northern Inland Innovation Awards 2011

Businesses and not-for-profit organisations are being urged to start preparing their nominations for the 2011 Regional Development Australia Northern Inland Innovation Awards now as nominations close on Wednesday, 21 September.

The annual awards are an initiative of Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI), in recognition of the innovation of many regional businesses and groups. A distinguished list of sponsors illustrates the widespread support of innovation and the role these awards play in stimulating it. The sponsors for this year's awards are: New England Community Mutual, AgriFood Skills Australia, Austsafe Super, and Eastern Star Gas with continued support being sought from Federal and State Government Departments.

The Northern Inland Innovation Award Categories are:

  • Agriculture, Horticulture and associated services
  • Tourism, Leisure and Services
  • Professional and Retail services
  • Manufacturing and Engineering
  • Research and Education

The RDANI Innovation Awards Committee will select finalists for each category, who will be invited to attend the gala awards night in Gunnedah on Friday, 28th October with the general public also encouraged to attend. The 2011 Innovation of the Year Award will be presented to the leading innovator across all categories.

For further information and to purchase tickets please contact the Regional Development Australia Northern Inland office on: 02 6771 2790 or go to the Award’s website: www.niia.com.au

Farm Day Australia

Farm Day Australia

Farm Day Australia is a great initiative that brings city people to a working farm for a day. This program helps to demystify working on the land and it also teaches children from the city that milk doesn’t come from a bottle and eggs don’t come from a carton.

Farm Day offers city families a fun, friendly farm visit and the chance to learn more about life on the land. It gives city families the chance to meet farmers face-to-face, share in some country hospitality, and get involved with the work that goes in to producing the food and fibre enjoyed by the entire country.

Many farms in the region get involved with hosting a family and it is always a great success. Farm Day Australia 2011 was recently covered on the ABC program ‘Landline’. This initiative is a great way for families from both the city and the country to share knowledge and ideas and to break down the common misconceptions of both lifestyles.

For more information on how to get involved with Farm Day next year, please go to www.farmday.com.au

RDANI Represented at UK Skilled Migration Events

Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) recently represented NSW in the UK, on behalf of the NSW Government’s Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services. Senior Project Officer, Kim-Trieste Hastings attended a series of migration open days, highlighting skilled migration opportunities and the attractive lifestyle to be found in regional NSW.

The State Governments of South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia, in conjunction with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, hosted two of the open days, with a focus on employer sponsorship, in Birmingham and Bristol. These events were aimed at people with skills sets that are currently in demand in Australia. Candidates were targeted based on the skill requirements of participating employers and as set out in State Migration Plans.

The United Kingdom is an important source of skilled migrants for Australia. Recent research has found that key skills, such as engineering, IT, trades and the sciences are in oversupply in regional pockets of the UK. Conversely, research has also found that suitably skilled workers from the UK are highly valued by Australian employers.

For more information regarding skilled migration, or if you are an employer in need of staff, please contact Skilled Migration Officer Kim-Trieste Hastings on 0427 008 572 or email khastings@rdani.org.au

Town Success Story

Photo Create

This month’s town success story isn’t so much about a town but how a success story can affect a town. Photo Create is part of the Eastmon Group which was founded in 1961 by the Eastwood family of Glen Innes. Most people would recall the Eastmon shops that used to be in operation. What most people don’t know is that Glen Innes is now home to one of the largest digital processing centres in the world.

Photo Create uses state of the art technologies to print not just traditional photos but t-shirts, key-rings, mugs and just about anything else you can think to put a picture on. Photo Create look after all the digital photo printing needs of Big W, Harvey Norman, Domayne, Clive Peters, Bing Lee, Dick Smith, Apple and Fairfax.

Photo Create sets itself apart from other businesses as they are determined to hire local staff and to not rely on other regions for their input. To that end, Photo Create are the largest employer in Glen Innes (hiring up to 400 casual staff in peak periods) and they manufacture just about everything they need in house.

The Photo Create story goes to show that big business can successfully operate within regional communities and become a vital part of what makes them great.

Health and Wellbeing

As a result of the recent endemic outbreaks of whooping cough and similar diseases, this month’s health and wellbeing program is the ‘Immunise Australia Program’.

Immunisations are free for all Australian citizens with a Medicare card and are vital in eliminating life threatening diseases. Smallpox was eliminated as a result of vaccinations and polio has been eliminated in many countries due to children being immunised.

Diseases such as whooping cough and measles may be irritating to adults but they can be life threatening to babies and small children and immunisations can dramatically reduce the chance of infection.

For more information on the ‘Immunise Australia Program’ please go to www.immunise.health.gov.au or free call 1800 671 811


From an unlikely head office on a cattle property in Boggabri, Sally Hunter has established one of Australia’s finest grant searching databases. Sally also operates a grants writing business to assist community groups with limited grants writing experience to have the best chance of securing funding.

Sally has a passion for supporting community organisations in reaching their goals. Sally is also passionate about the success and development of rural and regional communities. To further assist rural and regional communities, and to eliminate the oft experienced tyranny of distance, Sally was the first person in Australia to offer online grants writing workshops. These online workshops are ideal for community groups based in isolated areas who, at times, have limited funds to travel to attend training courses.

For more information on searching and applying for grants please go to www.fundbase.com.au.

Grants, Funding Opportunities and Tenders

As RDANI has access to a large number of grants and funding opportunities, as of this month, there will be a new Grants Portal on our website which can be found at www.rdani.org.au/our-region/grants-and-funding-opportunities.php. This page will highlight a selection of the funding opportunities available as well as provide further resources on how to find the appropriate grant. The new portal will inform communities, businesses and industries within the region of the many government, business and philanthropic grants available.


Tendering is becoming a vital part of how many businesses in the Northern Inland operate on a day to day basis. RDANI would like to highlight the many sources of Tender information available.

Both state and federal governments often have projects open for tender. For more information on NSW State Government Tenders please go to tenders.nsw.gov.au for further information on Federal Government Tenders please go to www.tenders.gov.au

Commercial tenders are also becoming more popular. For more information on the commercial tendering process please go to www.tenderlink.com or www.tenders.com.au

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