In this Issue:
Welcome from the Chair
Welcome to another edition of our newsletter. This month we’re pleased to announce $25,000 in funding for AGCAP, a proven project to offer our young people education, training and employment locally. Later this month we will also be launching our Business Energy Handbook which identifies how local small to medium businesses in each city and town across the Northern Inland can best reduce their energy costs.
It’s great to see some good winter rain across the region and we look forward to catching up with you next month.
AGCAP Funding to Keep our Youngest and Brightest
RDANorthern Inland are pleased to announce the successful receipt of $25,000 under the NSW government’s Energise Enterprise Fund for the AGCAP Project. The Agribusiness Career Access Pathway program known as AGCAP, is an exciting and practical response to the skilled labour shortage and retention of quality young people in the Northern Inland region of NSW.
It is a proven model for getting local youth engaged with agribusiness careers and Regional Development Australia Northern Inland is delighted to be a devoted supporting partner.
The AGCAP program provides participating high school students with work in an agribusiness, while they continue their studies. It is helping young people to get the training and skills they need to secure employment in the rural sector, while connecting them with employers - who are keen to support a program that is working to better meet their labour needs.
The project will deliver:
A commitment by all secondary schools in the Northern Inland region to embrace the AGCAP Program.
A distributed campus model that allows young people to remain in their communities whilst completing further education
Increased youth retention in our region
A reduction in youth unemployment
The opportunity for young locals to remain in employment while completing further studies
For further information, visit www.agribusinesscareers.com.au
A video about AGCAP can be viewed on YouTube.
Taking Control of Your Power – Business Workshop
You are invited to a free workshop designed for businesses to explore how to reduce energy consumption, how to generate renewable energy from solar panels, and options for storing energy overnight.
• What is technically feasible?
• What makes financial sense for my business?
• What innovative business models are being used for landlord/tenant arrangements?
Tuesday 28th June 2016, 6.00pm to 8:30pm
Uralla Community Centre, 9 Hill Street, Uralla (next to old Court House).
Please RSVP to email@example.com by 27th June 2016 or contact Stephanie McCaffrey at Uralla Shire Council on 02 6778 6316
6:00pm to 6.15pm Welcome with hot food and drinks
Meet the presenters and stave off the hunger pains ready for an interesting panel of speakers!
6:15pm to 6:30pm Northern Inland Business Energy Audit: Key Results
David Thompson, Regional Development Australia Northern Inland, Armidale
6:30pm to 7:00pm Case Studies of local businesses who have taken action to reduce and/or generate power and be more energy efficient.
Iain Mackintosh (Uralla) and Laurie Knight (Phoenix Centre –Armidale)
7:00pm to 7:20pm Generate and Store – what are the first steps?
• Daytime power use
• Matching with solar PV
• Battery technology
Wayne Howard, Neal Howard's Electrical Service, Uralla and Cameron Dalgleish, New England Solar Power, Armidale
7.20 – 7.30 Tea/Coffee Break
7:30pm to 7:50pm Does the investment stack up for my business?
• Payback period
• Cash flow
• Depreciation write-off
• Sourcing finance
Nathan Gilbody, Roberts and Morrow, Armidale
7:50pm to 8:10pm Community solar power
How Z-NET Uralla can support businesses to take action (Destination Uralla)
Stephanie McCaffrey, Uralla Shire Council, Uralla and Sandra Eady, Z-NET Uralla Convenor, Uralla
8:10pm to 8.40pm Close
Our panel have generously agreed to stay an extra half hour to informally cover any outstanding questions.
20 Megawatt Solar Farm Coming for Glen Innes
Another big step in the region’s energy transition, the approval of a solar farm at the Goldwind’s White Rock Wind Farm near Glen Innes, has been commended by local State MP Adam Marshall.
Mr Marshall said the proposed 20 megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) plant will complement the $400 million, 175 megawatt wind farm now under construction.
“In the last 12 months this electorate has leapt from having no large-scale energy generation, to the construction and commissioning of facilities capable of powering tens of thousands of homes,” Mr Marshall said.
“That’s the miracle of renewable energy. It’s not just that we can generate power from renewables sources, like the sun and wind; it’s that we can harvest this energy in our communities, generating jobs and adding another robust source of revenue to local economies.”
The NSW Department of Planning and Environment announced approval late last week for the Goldwind solar farm.
Goldwind Australia managing director John Titchen said farm will tie into the power generation infrastructure being built at White Rock Wind Farm.
“Goldwind recognises and welcomes the strong community support for solar and wind energy development in the Northern Tablelands,” Mr Titchen said. “We see great potential in this region.”
The Goldwind solar farm is the electorate’s second major solar PV facility. FRV’s 56 MW Moree Solar Farm, Australia’s largest single-axis tracking solar farm, starting generating electricity earlier this year.
Earthmoving machinery contracted by Goldwind has been hard at work in the ranges west of Glen Innes since May, preparing the ground to build Australia’s largest wind farm.
The facility will initially have 70 2.5 megawatt turbines, but planning approval has been granted for 119 turbines.
In October, work is scheduled to begin on CWP Renewable’s Sapphire Wind Farm, also west of Glen Innes, which will eventually eclipse White Rock with 159 turbines.
These renewable energy projects have already started to pump hundreds of millions of dollars of investment into the Glen Innes and Inverell communities, Mr Marshall said.
“I continue to talk with TransGrid about construction of a renewable energy hub near Glen Innes. A hub would allow easier and cheaper access for wind and solar projects to the electricity grid,” he said.
“If the hub is built, the region will become even more attractive for renewable energy projects because grid connection costs will be reduced.”
New Apprenticeship to Revolutionise Truckie Training
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson and TAFE New England Director of Business and Strategy Mark Dalitz have today announced a proposal for a new apprenticeship for the transport and logistics industry which is expected to change the way the industry trains new and existing truck drivers. The proposed qualification known as Certificate 3 in General Heavy Vehicle Operations focusses on the broader skillset needed for truck drivers beyond of licencing requirements.
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said the new qualification is expected to increase participation in the industry and formalise skills for those already working in the industry.
“We’ve got a lot of experienced truckies on the road who have managed to build up the skills they need to do the job over the years but should those truckies wish to change employers there’s currently no formal way of showing they have those skills. “We also want to attract young people into the transport sector as a career, due to the aging workforce within the industry. To do this we need to ensure they gain the necessary skills to enter the industry and become effective, long term employees.”
“We want to see a sustainable freight industry, and to do that we promote a positive and professional public image, support organisations to develop and recruit staff and offer further development for existing drivers.”
Mr Dalitz said “TAFE New England has responded to requests, from local transport companies, to work with the NSW Government to develop a qualification to meet the needs of the industry.
Stephen Hopkins of Hopkins Transport said with the average age over truck drivers now over 50 years old there is a need to attract younger people to the industry.
“With an ageing workforce there is a big opportunity for young women and men to join the transport industry and we want to ensure they are getting the appropriate training to succeed with safety being a priority in this training.
“Without trucks the nation stops, so we need to build a workforce that will sustain the industry into the future,” Mr Hopkins concluded.
Access the report here.
Spreading the Ideas Boom Across Regional Australia
Start-ups, business accelerators, co-working spaces, entrepreneurs, new products and services and innovative businesses are emerging across Australia.
But what does Australia’s innovative capacity really look like?
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has partnered with the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) to reveal a fresh approach to measuring innovation capacity in Australia. The work brings savvy business people into the spotlight and allows regions to explore their innovation profile in the RAI’s database [In]Sight: Australia’s Regional Competitiveness Index.
The [In]Sight Index contrasts old measures of innovation focused on R&D and Science, with the Business Dynamo – the RAI’s new approach to measuring the commercial innovation environment in each region.
The new report [In]Sight – Innovation: Spreading the Ideas Boom, digs deeper into the numbers, highlighting the growth of vibrant and dynamic entrepreneurial communities in regional Australia and areas where conditions are ripe for innovation.
Grants and Funding Opportunities
The Energise Enterprise Fund – Round 3 has been extended until 21 July
The Energise Enterprise Fund has received wide interest and more applications than previous rounds. The third assessment round will be extended for an additional four weeks to accommodate the stakeholder interest in the Fund.
If your organisation intends to submit an application for the final round of the Energise Enterprise Fund, the closing date has been extended from Tuesday 21 June 2016 to 2pm AEST Thursday 21 July 2016.
For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 1300 650 058
Community Litter Grants
Opening July 1
Are you fed up with litter in your local area? Or maybe you’re part of a group who are already doing something to clean up your neighbourhood, but could do with some extra funds to help out?
Community Litter Grants started in 2013 to equip locals with tools and resources to implement litter solutions in their neighbourhoods.
Grants of up to $5000 are available.
What’s On in the Northern Inland
2016 American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup
Thursday 30th of June to Friday 1st of July
The Australian High Country Music Festival
Friday 1st to Sunday 10th of July
Hats Off to Country
Thursday 7th to Sunday 10th of July
Festival of Abilities
Saturday 9th of July
Spring Ridge Fireworks Display and Bonfire Night
Saturday 16th of July
Boarding School Expos
Friday 29th to Saturday 30th of July
Hike for the Homeless: Sleep Out
Friday 29th of July
Eulah Creek Machinary Day
Sunday 31st of July
Show Your Colours for the Chopper
Saturday 31st of July 2016