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July 2014 Newsletter

In This Issue:

Welcome From The Chair

Dear Northern Inlanders,

Welcome to another edition of our monthly newsletter. This month we are pleased to welcome Peter Stanley to the RDA Northern Inland team as our new Education Officer. Peter will work on our ‘Northern Lights’ project which is replacing streetlights in seven of our Local Councils to more energy efficient LED lighting. This energy and cost-saving project is even more critical for councils given the proposed increases in street light maintenance costs.

In addition, I encourage you to read about the new Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme from the Department of Industry. There are many entrepreneurial and innovative small businesses in the region that will see value in applying.

All the Best,
Mal Peters, Chair

Energy Efficiency Education Officer For Our Region

Regional Development Australia Northern Inland has appointed an Energy Efficiency Education Officer (EEEO), as part of its ‘Northern Lights’ street light upgrade project (funded via the Commonwealth Community Energy Efficiency Program).  Peter Stanley commenced the position on 1st July, having previously worked on the Home Energy Saver Scheme with The Salvation Army.

The role of the EEEO is to promote energy efficiency practices within our regional communities - both household and business operators. Peter will meet with community members and present information at forums and other meetings on how to economise in the use of electricity, and reduce costs at home or at business premises. He will also hold information displays at key community venues. Peter is developing hands-on display materials and a website which will allow householders and businesses to view the costs of running various appliances, and show the energy cost savings from installing energy efficient appliances such as LED lights.

He will also be tracking and reporting on the cumulative energy savings from the street light upgrades in the seven council areas involved in the project (Armidale Dumaresq, Guyra, Walcha, Tenterfield, Inverell, Glen Innes Severn and Gwydir). Street lights typically represent the largest electricity cost for councils. “These energy cost savings will be even more important for our ratepayers, with the recent Essential Energy announcement of substantial increases in street light maintenance costs,” Mr Stanley said.

Peter can be contacted on 02 6771 0700 or pstanley@rdani.org.au

Super Boomers Challenge Ageing Impacts

A fresh approach is highlighting the importance of the Baby Boomer generation in our society. Members of this demographic are well-known for being on the cutting edge of social and economic change. Despite the criticism that has often followed their choices, their success is clear.

With rising concerns about Australia’s ageing population, the world is once again focusing on the impact of the Baby Boomer generation. As they were in the 1960’s, Baby Boomers are again set to be key agents of social and economic change in the next decade.

With new research in Talking Point: An ageing (regional) Australia and the rise of the Super Boomer, the Regional Australia Institute is challenging traditional thinking about what ageing means for regional communities and the economy.

Regional Australia is ageing faster than the rest of the country. More than 2 million Baby Boomers live outside of the capital cities. They also make up 39 per cent of the regional workforce.
However, reaching 50 is now the mark of new beginnings not retirement. Increased life expectancy, good health, greater financial flexibility and overall independence are transforming the ageing experience.
In the regions, Baby Boomers are transforming into Super Boomers. The ‘super’ in Super Boomer comes from choosing to remain dynamic and active contributors to their regional communities.

Whether it be through entrepreneurship, staying in the workforce, mentoring the younger generation, leadership or volunteering, Super Boomers are driving the future of our regions.

Ageing in place and increasing levels of mobility are driving people to the regions, creating significant Super Boomer populations in these 21 regions, including the Northern Inland (see above map).

Are you a Super Boomer? The Regional Australia Institute would like to hear from you about how you are spending the next stage of your life in regional Australia. You can get involved by commenting below, or heading to the ‘Have Your Say’ page of their website. You can also join the discussion on the RAI Facebook and Twitter pages.

To find out more about the trend download the Talking Point: An ageing (regional) Australia and the rise of the Super Boomer.

Introducing the Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme – now accepting Business Evaluation and Business Growth Grant applications.

The Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme, which is delivered through the Australian Government’s new Single Business Service, offers easy to access practical support to Australian businesses in a simplified and streamlined way. It is a new approach to the way government provides services to business that recognises Australia’s diverse business landscape and that the market and industry is changing in the global economy.

The Programme aims to improve the capabilities of small to medium enterprises to become more competitive and grow.

The Programme is now accepting applications for Business Evaluations, and Business Growth Grants under the Business Management stream. Information, including guidelines and application forms, are now available through www.business.gov.au.

Business Evaluations – provide a top to bottom analysis of an eligible business, which meet the eligibility requirements and threshold qualifications, at their premises at no fee to the business for this service. The business receives a detailed report and recommendations for the business to make improvements. Evaluations are delivered through our national network of more than 100 experienced private sector advisers.

Business Growth Grants – are small, co-funded grants to engage external expertise to assist businesses with implementing improvements recommended by their Business Evaluation. Businesses must have received a Business Evaluation to be eligible to apply for a Business Growth Grant.

The Research Connections (September) and Commercialising Ideas (November) streams of the Programme will come online later this year and information about those services will be available in coming months.

Assistance For Region’s Locals In Times Of Medical Crisis

There are assistance services available that can really make a huge difference to people in our communities when they face serious medical issues and need a hand. However, without awareness and ongoing promotion through our networks to promote Government, community and public initiatives, they are good intentions going under-utilised.

It is important to maintain the profile of such assistance mechanisms so people can think of them when their minds are on the issue in question, such as a family medical crisis.

The Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS) is a NSW Government initiative designed to financially assist people, particularly in isolated or rural areas, who have to travel significant distances to access specialist medical treatment which is not available locally.

To be eligible, you must: Be a resident of NSW or Lord Howe Island and also be eligible for Medicare; Live more than 100km from the nearest treating specialist (You may also be eligible if cumulative journeys to your treating specialist exceed 200km within a week.); require specialist treatment that is not available locally; claim all benefits available through a private health fund prior to applying to IPTAAS (if applicable); and not be eligible for any other government travel assistance schemes.

For further information, please go to: www.enable.health.nsw.gov.au/iptaas

SO, there is no time like the present to get familiar with Friendly Faces Helping Hands. Operated through a charitable foundation, this innovative service provides country people with practical information about coping with lengthy medical stays in a major city. Logistics information can include where to find cost-effective car parks and transport options. This web-based information service was home-grown, right here in Northern Inland NSW.

Why not have a look at this fantastic site now at www.friendlyfaces.info. It is packed with need-to-know info that you might not have time to get into if a medical crisis hits in your family and it is a matter of go, go, go.

The Fair Work Ombudsman recently launched a new website aimed at busy people who need accurate information quickly and conveniently.

The revamped website: www.fairwork.gov.au enables employees and employers access to reliable workplace relations information tailored to their workplace.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says the Agency is committed to providing advice, information and assistance that people can rely on with confidence, and the new website allows users to nominate the industry they work in and as they search the site information will be tailored to reflect their circumstances.

Employers will be able to create their own individual accounts and save relevant data, such as pay rates, which they can access at their convenience.

“This is a resource for employers and employees and it was created with relevance to the user at the forefront of the design. We want people to be able to get the information they need in a fast and convenient way,” Ms James said.

“Once people identify themselves, no matter where they go on the website, the information will be filtered based on what applies to their workplace or their job,” she said.

With more than 10 million visits a year, the Fair Work Ombudsman website is already a popular resource for advice and assistance.

For example, the site now features an interactive Online Learning Centre, which has already attracted more than 10,000 users.

Employers and employees seeking further information and advice can call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. A free interpreter service is also available on 13 14 50.

Congratulations to Gunnedah Shire Council!

Gunnedah Shire Council has won a community grant in the highly competitive NRMA community grants program. The Gunnedah Shire’s successful project is called “Gunny Get Your Home Secure Kit”

Situational crime prevention is central to strategies aimed at reducing the prevalence of break and enter offences. The Gunnedah Shire Council’s Gunny Get Your Home Secure Kit project will increase the level of awareness and understanding among local residents of the steps that can be taken to prevent residential burglary and maximise home security.

What's On In The Northern Inland

Cruising 4 Cancer
Saturday 26th of July

Would you like to go for a drive with others and raise money for the Cancer Council while you are doing it? Then join the cruise meeting at Tamworth TREC carpark at 7am to go to Wallabadah, Quirindi, Gunnedah and back to Tamworth. Following the curise there will also be a car show, BBQ, jumping castle, raffle and band at the Tamworth Bears oval from 11am. Find out more on their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/cruising4cancer.

Armidale International Film Festival
Friday, 1st August to Sunday 3rd of August.

The Armidale International Film Festival was the brain child of a small group of foreign film enthusiasts in the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics (LCL) at the University of New England (UNE). In 2004, they organised the 1st International Film Festival as their School’s contribution to the celebration of UNE’s 50th Anniversary as an independent university. Further information can be found at: blog.une.edu.au/aiff.

Moree Youth Council Masquerade Ball
Friday 1st of August

Moree Youth Council present the Masquerade ball for children aged 13-18 years. The night will run from 6 to 10:30pm and  includes a buffet dinner, live DJ, photo booth, mock-tails and Kings and Queens. Tickets are $20 and are available from Moree Plains Shire Council.

Tamworth Antique Fair
Friday 1st  to Sunday 3rd of August

Approximately 25 quality dealers from New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania present their finest wares. The proceeds of the Fair benefit Oxley High School. This year’s fair will be opened on Friday evening at 6pm after musical entertainment by some of the students of Oxley High School. For further information go to the fair’s website: www.tamafair.org.au.

Celtic Festival of Imbolc Candlemas
Sunday 3rd of August
Glen Innes

The Combined Gaelic Clans of Australasia welcomes you to attend the Celtic Festival of Imbolc Candlemas - A Druid Ceremony to celebrate the coming of Spring. Commencing 12 noon with a Ceremony at 3pm at the Standing Stones. Free Entry. Bring a plate & a chair - there will be a meal after the ceremony. Story telling for kids & kids at heart.

Eulah Creek Antique & Machinery Day
Sunday 3rd of August
Eulah Creek

The Eulah Creek Antique & Machinery Day is the perfect family day out with:

  • Working draught horses demonstrations
  • Vintage working machinery
  • Small motors (& big ones too)
  • Tractors
  • Vintage cars
  • Street rods
  • Blacksmithing
  • Historical displays & sheep shearing
  • Catering by the Eulah Creek Hall committee
  • Craft and children's entertainment and much more....

For further information, go to Narrabri Tourism's website here.

BATS Dinner and Show
Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd August
Friday 29nd and Saturday 30th August
Friday 5th and Saturday 6th September

The tiny town of Boomi is located on the NSW side of the Queensland border, north of Moree. Experience country culture and hospitality with a two-course meal and entertaining stage production of “Once Upon a Crime”. Boomi Amateur Thespian Society is a rural Australian amateur theatre group which started in 1991 and distributes the funds raised from its shows to its local community groups. For further information, go to: www.facebook.com/boomibats

Australian Shooting Hunting & Outdoor Expo
Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th  of August

As the name suggests the expo will cover everything outdoors! This including shooting, hunting gear, archery, taxidermist and knife making specialists, hunting guides, 4WD’s and motorbike as well as 4WD accessories, camping gear, off road caravans, fishing gear, lure makers, fishing tinnies, kayaks, outdoor cooking as well as entertainment stage, local outdoor associated Tamworth clubs will also be in attendance. Find out more on the expo’s website: www.ashoe.com.au.

19th, 20th 21st August

The Commonwealth Bank AgQuip field days is the nation’s biggest showcase of agri-products and, for many companies, it’s a rare chance to talk with and get a direct response from the people who use the products and services on sale. Commonwealth Bank AgQuip is an event at which numerous major companies take the opportunity to introduce new products or new developments in existing product ranges. For further information, go to: www.farmonline.com.au/events/agquip/

Steven Bradbury Motivational Talk
Wednesday 27th of August

8 Times National Champion Speed skater Steven Bradbury created history in Salt Lake City when he became the first Australian to win a Winter Olympic Gold Medal. His remark-able and unlikely victory was achieved after a spectacular final-lap spill took out his four rivals. His gold medal win was not entirely as fortuitous as many would be-lieve, half the battle is staying on your blades and Bradbury did just that. Dubbed “the luckiest gold medalist”’ Bradbury won fans the world over for the honesty and humility he showed after the win. He saw his victory as reward not for one race, but for a decade of hard slog that has included more than his share of misfortune. For further information, go to www.walchansw.com.au/events/2014/08/27/steven-bradbury-motivational-talk.php

First Fleet Descendants Reunion Picnic
Sunday 31st of August

Captain Arthur Phillip, the first Governor of Australia died on 31. August 1814. To commemorate his life and work the Liverpool Plains Shire Council is organising a reunion of First Fleet descendents and people interested in history to meet and greet and exchange stories about Australia's convict past. The reunion starts at 9.00am at the First and Second Fleet Garden in Wallabadah (on the New England Highway). Entry is by gold coin donation and local community groups will sell food and drinks.

There will be guided tours through the gardens, a costume competition, Treasure Hunt for the children, a Trivia for the adults, colonial photo props, convict and marine stories, speeches by First Fleet Descendants and History Experts. For more information or accommodation call the Liverpool Plains Visitor Information Centre on 02 6747 1226

Heritage Express Steam Train Rides
Saturday 30th of August

For the first time in nearly two decades, Tamworth celebrates the return of the steam train — for one weekend only! Take a short steam train ride to Kootingal and return in nostalgic carriages. A great outing for the whole family!

The enchanting sound of a steam train whistle resounding throughout the City of Tamworth was once familiar to many, but it's been a long time since steam trains gracefully puffed their way through North-West NSW. Transport Heritage NSW is delighted to be bringing the steam train back to Tamworth, for a nostalgic weekend of steam excitement! Travel on one of eight great journeys from Tamworth Station. Further information is available on the Destination Tamworth website here.

Featured Grants and Funding Opportunities

NSW Fellowship for Aboriginal Artists
Applications close on Monday 11 August 2014

The NSW Government’s Aboriginal Arts Fellowship worth $30,000. The Aboriginal Arts Fellowship is open to arts practitioners working across all art forms including collections and cultural heritage, community arts and cultural development, dance, literature and more.

The fellowship supports a self-directed program of professional development that might include travel within Australia or overseas, a mentorship or internship, residences, courses or workshops, research or the creation of new work.

The NSW Aboriginal Arts Fellowship is offered by Arts NSW and an independent peer panel will assess applications. The winner of the Fellowship will be announced later this year.  For more information and to apply, visit www.artsnsw.gov.au.

Small Business WorkCover Rebate
Applications close 31st of August

Any business with an ABN who has 0-50 employees can access WorkCover funds to assist with workplace improvements.

WorkCover’s Small Business Rebate Program offers rebates of up to $500 to help small business owners and sole traders purchase and install safety improvements. For further information and an application form, go to: www.workcover.nsw.gov.au/newlegislation2012/assistance-and-support/small-business-rebate/Pages/default.aspx.

Royal Agricultural Society Foundation Scholarships
Applications close 30th of September 2014

Since 2011, the Royal Agricultural Society Foundation has provided over 180 students with $921,500 worth of financial support to fulfill their educational goals. Rural Scholarships are targeted at a tertiary level – TAFE, VET courses and University.

Rural Scholarships (NSW only) Up to 45 scholarships for $5000
JB Fairfax Award for Rural Journalism (National), 1 only for $10,000
Sydney Royal Wine Scholarship (National), 1 only for $5000
Sydney Royal Dairy Produce Scholarship (NSW only), – 1 only for $5000

For more information visit: www.rasnsw.com.au/rural-scholarships-.htm

Further informaiton on grants and funding opportunities are available in the Grants and Funding Opportunities area of the RDA-NI website.

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