In this Issue:
Welcome from the Chair
Dear Northern Inlanders,
Welcome to another edition of our newsletter. This month we’re putting the finishing touches on the North West NSW Investment Prospectus which will focus on attracting investment into our agriculture and agribusiness sectors.
We’re also starting to put the call out to all of our regional innovators to get their nominations in for the 2016 Northern Inland Innovation Awards, to be held in Inverell in November this year. As we travel the length and breadth of the region, the level of innovation within business and organisations never ceases to amaze us – so keep on letting us know who you are and get your entries in.
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Free Business Energy Saving Workshop in Tamworth
NSW Office of Environment and Heritage North East Regional Energy Co-ordinator and RDA Northern Inland Committee Member Lauren Zell, presenting to the Uralla “Taking Control of Your Power – Reduce, Generate, Store” workshop
Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) conducted a NSW Department of Industry funded workshop on cutting energy costs for businesses in Uralla recently. RDANI Senior Project Officer David Thompson said that the attendance of the “Taking Control of Your Power – Reduce, Generate, Store” workshop was so good that he is looking forward to the upcoming Tamworth workshop on Wednesday evening 27 July, 6:00pm-8:30pm at the Tamworth Community Centre in Darling Street.
Mr Thompson presented results of a regional business energy use research project in Uralla. “We looked at forms of energy that a range of businesses around the region are using, ways they could reduce their energy costs and their potential for becoming involved with renewable energy,” he said. “Cutting energy costs can be a very big deal. The business spend on electricity and gas in this region ranges from a couple of hundred dollars to $200,000 a month. One supermarket cut its power bill from about $8,500 to $3,500 just by improving the energy efficiency of their refrigeration, installing LED lighting, a solar system and some inverters. Another business halved their gas cost by investing in bio-gas capture technology.”
Speakers at the Uralla workshop included representatives of the NSW Government and local businesses, sharing their experiences; they were:
Ian McIntosh, a business operator who installed solar and energy efficiency measures;
Wayne Howard of Neal Howards Electrical, who spoke about things to consider with solar;
Geoff Bragg from New England Solar Power, on how to choose the right solar system;
The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage North East Regional Energy Co-ordinator Lauren Zell, on State Government assistance for energy efficiency and renewables for business;
Nathan Gilbody from Roberts & Morrow, on financial and tax aspects of investing in energy efficiency / renewable energy.
Sandra Eady also gave an update on the Uralla Zero Net Energy project.
Mr Thompson believes any size or type of business in Tamworth could benefit from the free workshop. Other speakers will include:
Brendon North from Paradise Fresh on their energy saving investments;
Wayne Howard of Neal Howards Electrical; a West Tamworth Bowling Club case study;
Brett Martin from Eco Energy and Solar Solutions on how to choose the right solar system;
Nathan Gilbody from Roberts & Morrow on financial and tax aspects of investing in energy efficiency / renewable energy and
a NSW Office of Environment and Heritage representative on State Government assistance for energy efficiency and renewables for business
Narrabri-based RDANI Chair Russell Stewart described the project as an important regional development contribution. “It’s all about bringing operating costs down towards increasing the competitiveness and sustainability of our businesses and our economy generally.”
“We have produced a report that will go on our website and this has a number of charts and decision making diagrams to help a business through the steps they can take to reduce their energy costs. It also outlines how to access funding for energy efficiency improvement measures within a business.”
Entries Sought for Region’s Innovation Awards
2015 RDANI Innovation of the Year was Lively Linseed, presented by RDANI Chair Russell Stewart (centre)
If you have a product, service, approach or initiative that can be described as innovative, the Northern Inland Innovation Awards is the ultimate platform for promoting your story, according to Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) Chair, Russell Stewart. “Entries are now open and I reckon it’s worth having a go!” he said.
The region-wide awards program is in its 9th year and organisers are proud of its record, in recognising outstanding quiet achievers. “I encourage everyone to get onto the awards website (www.niia.com.au) and check out the videos we have produced of past category winners and finalists. These awards have unearthed and highlighted truly inspiring stories from diverse entries,” Mr. Stewart said. “A great example of that was last year’s Innovation of the Year winner, Lively Linseed of Mullaley.”
Businesses, public and not-for-profit organisations, together with the 12 local councils of the Northern Inland NSW region are being urged to submit entries for the 9th annual (RDANI) Innovation Awards. Entries close on Monday 3rd October, 2016.
Each year the gala Northern Inland Innovation Awards dinner and presentation evening is held in a different local government area within the region. In 2016, these regional Awards will be presented at the Inverell RSM Club on Friday, 18 November.
“Many of our unique operators can get so busy doing what they do, they don’t stop and think about what they do and how it is special. There are so many benefits of doing just that!” Mr. Stewart said.
“If you can promote what your enterprise has done as innovative then it (your industry and this region) can also be seen as progressive, creative and rewarding,” Mr Stewart said. “I would like to see as many businesses and organisations as possible take just a little time to tell us their story. Why not go to the Awards’ website and download the entry form? There is no cost and it could develop into a fantastic marketing tool.”
“Through innovation, regional operators can achieve better outcomes, improve their competitive edge, sustainability and growth.”
“The practical importance of these awards is demonstrated by the generous support they receive by such regionally focused organisations as Prime Super and the University of New England.”
The NIIA Categories are:
Agriculture / Horticulture and associated services;
Health, Aged Care and Disability Services;
Retail, Tourism & Leisure;
Professional and Government services;
Manufacturing and Engineering; and
Research and Education.
The RDANI Innovation Awards judging panel will vote on the RDANI Innovation of the Year Award from the winners of each category. Finalists for each category will be invited to attend the gala awards night, with the general public also encouraged to come along.
Region Urged to Take the Census Seriously
The Narrabri-based Chair of Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) Russell Stewart is urging local communities and residents to ensure the upcoming census gets taken seriously and is completed. “A little bit of effort can make a huge difference! It is the only way we can give Governments and private investors the facts about our region,” he said.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will be conducting the Australian Census of Population and Housing Survey on Tuesday 9 August, 2016. “The census comes around every five years and is considered by many to be at best, a nuisance, and by some, to be an attack on their privacy,” said Mr Stewart. “However, it is critical to know that our Governments and policy makers use the information you provide in the Census to estimate Australia’s overall and individual area population. The data also serves as a guide for the distribution of government funds and the planning of services for your community, such as housing, transport, education, hospitals, as well as programs for industry, the environment and regional development.”
Mr Stewart advised that census data is also used by individuals, industry, business and organisations in the public and private sectors to make decisions on policy, planning and investment issues that heavily impact on our lives.
“We have towns in our Northern Inland Region, which due to Census figures, are considered by our Governments and policy makers to be in decline. All this due, on some occasions, to a ‘hand full’ of numbers. Conversely, we have towns considered to be growth centres by similar small numbers.”
Whether lobbying for Narrabri in the past or on a regional level, with Regional Development Australia, Mr Stewart has observed investment trends that highlight the importance of taking the census seriously. “Towns or regions considered to be growing, regularly attract increases in investment by our Governments and the private sector. Let’s face it; everyone wants to be ‘on a Winner’.”
“On a number of occasions while attempting to argue for more attention to, or investment in the Northern Inland, I have been referred to (the score board) and been let down by the last Census figures.”
Mr Stewart said that councils, community organisations and individuals must actively encourage maximum participation in the census next month. “Despite, at times, having some doubt on certain figures relating to our area in past Census results, they can only reflect the number and content of our responses.”
Honour for Former RDANI Committee Member
Mary Hollingworth receives her NSW Government Community Service Award from Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall in Glen Innes earlier this month.
Former RDANI Committee member Mary Hollingworth has been presented with a NSW Government Community Service Award for her tireless work. “Mary typifies the community-mindedness we have had and continue to see on the RDA Northern Inland Committee. Our congratulations to Mary,” RDANI Executive Officer Nathan Axelsson said.
The list of duties that Mary has taken on in the Glen Innes and Deepwater communities over the years is astonishing, even in a community with a rich tradition of volunteer work. Those roles include, but are not confined to:
Administrative assistant for the Australian Celtic Festival. Mary goes far beyond her modest title, including promoting the festival in Scotland, Norfolk Island, Tasmania, USA and across Australia. She is known far and wide as the smiling face of Glen Innes and the Australian Celtic festival;
Chairperson of the NSW Rural Women’s Gathering, held in Glen Innes last year;
An active member of the Glen Innes Red Cross, with duties that include hosting Junior Red Cross meetings;
An active member of the Uniting Church, hosting home worship for the past 27 years and reading weekly Scripture to primary school students;
An active NSW Agricultural Society Fine Arts And Cooking steward and judge;
Past president of the Glen Innes Show Society Ladies Auxiliary;
Past president and a committee member of Deepwater School of Arts.
Regional Development Australia Committee Member 2009-2012
Mary told Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall that along with the joy of a life given to service, her three grown children (and impending grandchildren) are a powerful motivation to keep on giving.
“We need to contribute to our communities so that all our wonderful social groups and institutions can continue for the next generation to enjoy,” she said.
Rural Focus 2016: Issues and Best Practice in Agriculture Today
The Robb College Foundation is hosting Rural Focus 2016 – Issues and Best Practice in Agriculture Today. The event is taking place at the University of New England, Wednesday 27th to Thursday 28th July.
Key themes will be Best Practice in Agri-management, Career Issues & Hiring and Technology Opportunities.
To reserve your place at Rural Focus 2016, click here.
RDA Northern Inland Chair Russell Stewart has called for farmers and agribusiness personnel in the region to make the most of the opportunity. “We are fortunate to have rural academic expertise at UNE, right on our doorstep. This symposium is a chance to hear from leading industry representatives and academics on topical, relevant issues,” he said.
The speakers are:
Duncan Fraser, Chairman Sheep Industry Co-operative Research Centre
Andrew McConville, Head of Corporate Affairs, Syngenta Asia Pacific Region
Harvey Gaynor, CEO of Auscott
David Faulkner, Ag Recruiting and Placement Specialist, Asia Pacific
Dr Andrew Blinco and Kirsty McCormack from OBE Organic
Dr Derek Baker, Professor of Agribusiness and Value Chains, UNE Business School
Professor David Lamb, School of Science and Technology - UNE Smartfarm
The Conference precedes the Farming Futures Expo conducted by students from the School of Environmental & Rural Science on Friday 29th July 2016.
For further information click here.
Grants and Funding Opportunities
$1mil local military history preservation fund
Applications Close July 27th
Groups across the region can apply for individual grants of up to $60,000 to preserve important pieces of local military history and put them back on display.
The $60,000 grants will help with the upgrade or installation of war memorial plaques and the refurbishment of community halls and so on. Local RSL sub-branches, community groups and councils.
The allocation of $1 million comes from uncollected gaming prize money and will be administered by Liquor & Gaming NSW in consultation with the NSW Branch of the RSL of Australia and the Office of Veterans Affairs.
Further details including how communities can lodge expressions of interest for funding will be published on the Liquor & Gaming NSW at www.liquorandgaming.justice.nsw.gov.au
The funding is in addition the NSW Community War Memorials Fund which provides grants of up to $10,000 to help repair, conserve and restore war memorials across the state.
Aussie cotton farmers grow communities
Nominations Close 31st of August 2016
Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities is a grant program initiated by the Monsanto Fund in partnership with the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR). It aims to help support local communities in cotton growing regions.
The program allows farmers to nominate a community group or not-for-profit organisation to receive one of thirty $5,000 grants.
This is a great opportunity for groups or initiatives that are important to the community to get a funding boost.
Go to Nominate Online to complete a nomination form.
$4.8 million fund to help boost local tourism
Applications Close 9th of August 2016
Applications are now open for a $4.8 million fund to bolster local tourism infrastructure projects across the State.
Local councils, state government entities, Aboriginal Land Councils, non-government organisations and private operators are encouraged to apply for a share of the funds as part of the 2016-17 Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure program (TDDI).
Projects should create and encourage visitation to a destination and fall into the categories of:
Environmental – the development or enhancement of natural assets;
Built – such as mixed use, exhibition and sporting facilities;
Transport – such as roads, rail networks, ports, airports; and
Enabling – Indigenous tourism development, plans and feasibility studies and programs to improve industry capability.
Project funding must be matched dollar for dollar by project organisers.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres emphasised the importance of tourism infrastructure in ensuring that NSW remains the number one destination in Australia.
“NSW is seeing a huge increase in visitor numbers and visitor expenditure, with visitors to the state spending $31.5 billion in the year ending March 2016,” he said.
Further information on the Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure program, including Guidelines and Application Process, are available on the website at: www.nsw.gov.au/tddi.
All applications must be submitted using the online application form on the NSW eTendering website at: www.etendering.nsw.gov.au
Grants available to improve transport experience in the region
Applications Close 30th of September 2016
Local councils, transport operators and community groups in the region are encouraged to apply for a share of around $3.3 million in grants to improve the customer experience on public transport.
The funding is available through the State Government’s Country Passenger Transport Infrastructure Grant Scheme (CPTIGS), which has funded 138 projects since March 2011, worth more than $6 million.
Local councils, operators, schools and community groups are urged to work together to identify the needs within the community, then apply to support their local public transport services.
The CPTIGS supports projects that directly benefit customers in rural, regional and remote communities travelling on services contracted by Transport for NSW. The funding can be for such infrastructure as new bus shelters, improvements to existing shelters, signage or better lighting and security.
Applicants will welcome the simplified application process which is completed on-line at www.transportnsw.smartygrants.com.au/CPTIGS2015-17.
Guidelines and further information are available from: www.transport.nsw.gov.au/content/country-passenger-transport-infrastructure-grants-scheme-cptigs
Local artists invited to apply for state government fellowships
Applications Close 2nd of August 2016
Three NSW Government $50,000 Regional Arts Fellowships dedicated to support country-based artists are up for grabs.
The fellowships offer regional artists, together with arts and cultural workers a great opportunity to broaden their talent and skills.
For further details, please visit the website here or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information on grants and funding opportunities, go to our website at: www.rdani.org.au/our-region/grants-and-funding-opportunities.php
What’s On in the Northern Inland
Tamworth Dressage Championships / Christmas in July
Saturday 30 and Sunday 21 July
Eulah Creek Machinery Day
Sunday 31 July
Show your Colours for the Chopper
Sunday 31 July
Armidale International Film Festival
Friday, 5 July to Sunday 7 August.
The Mungindi Show
Saturday 6 & Sunday 7 August
Pallamallawa P&C Campdraft
Saturday 6 & Sunday 7 August
Byamee Homeless Services: Hike for the Homeless 2016
Sunday 7 to Friday 12 August
Moree to Boggabilla, Boomi, Mungindi, Garah
Tuesday 16 to Thursday 18 August