In This Issue:
Welcome From The Chair
Dear Northern Inlanders,
It’s pleasing to see a number of major infrastructure projects getting underway in the region, including the RDAF funded Glen Innes Flight Training School, the Chaffey Dam upgrade, Moree’s Gateway project as well as a recent commitment to upgrade Narrabri’s Airport and Water supply under the latest round of Resources for Regions funding.
Keep an eye out for a series of China Workshops we’re running in conjunction with the New England North West NSW Business Chamber in early April. With two-thirds of the world’s middle class to be found in Asia by 2030, there are some enormous economic opportunities to our north.
All the best,
Mal Peters, Chair
Regional Businesses Need To Connect With China – Or Miss The Next Big Opportunity
A series of information sessions and workshops will be rolled out around the region early next month that will give businesses an opportunity to explore international trade opportunities connected with China, with a digital marketing slant.
The NewIQ workshops are designed to provide information, inspiration and motivation to businesses based in the region - the facts, figures and tools that can be beneficial in developing future growth strategies connected to China. The information sessions will include an online marketing angle, with particular emphasis in ways to attract the interest of China’s staggering 618,000,000 internet users.
RDA Northern Inland has teamed up with the Tamworth Digital Enterprise Program to deliver the information sessions and representatives from all types of businesses, of all sizes, are being encouraged to register their interest and come along.
“The international trade and digital economy opportunities for our region are significant. The internet user market in China is clearly significant and is growing by around 2.7 million users a month. The question then becomes, is there a way to connect with this massive market to the north, particularly via digital technologies? - a question we will be pondering during these information sessions and workshops,” said Tamworth Digital Enterprise Program Manager, Derek Tink.
“Whether at an individual business level or at a local area level – it is smart business to be thinking about how China could be a part of regional business growth strategies. These include import, export, tourism and investment opportunities.”
Lisa Goodhand from China Blueprint consultants will be presenting at the information sessions and group workshops. Lisa is a leading trade consultant in Australia specialising in doing business in China. She believes the new generation of retail is eTail and it’s time companies learnt how to deal with this on an international scale if they want to remain competitive.
“There may be masses of Chinese tourists flocking to state capitals along the seaboards of Australia, but their appetite for all things Oz means there’s only one reason they’re not sampling the delights of the regions: they haven’t been invited. There’s a huge opportunity in bringing Chinese travelers and, perhaps more importantly, online shoppers to rural areas. During these information sessions and workshops, we will explore how regional based businesses can make their products and presence known to the biggest market on earth,” said Lisa Goodhand.
The Introduction to Digital Marketing - China information sessions will be held in Barraba, Moree and Narrabri on April 2nd, Gunnedah, Quirindi and Tamworth on April 3rd and Armidale on April 4th. To find out more, go to http://newiq.com.au/chinaiq/ or contact Derek Tink on 0408 990 141.
Work On Aviation College Takes Off
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional Infrastructure and Services Andrew Stoner and Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall publicly welcomed the start of work on the international aviation training college, under construction at Glen Innes. The Regional Development Australia fund also contributed $500,000 towards the project.
“The NSW Government has committed up to $1.6 million under the Regional Industries Investment Fund to support infrastructure upgrades to water, sewerage and power, road access, car parking, aircraft aprons and taxiways,” Mr Stoner said.
“The infrastructure project is a joint venture between the NSW and Federal Governments and Australia Asia Flight Training,” he said.
“When operational, the college will induct 20 students every eight weeks until the target of 400-600 is reached. It is expected the first stage of the college will deliver some 138 direct new full time equivalent jobs and generate over $20 million per annum in economic benefits to the immediate Glen Innes region.”
Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall said construction is on track and has been using council staff and resources, along with some local contractors for excavation work.
“I am pleased that Glen Innes Severn Council is already fielding inquiries about future building project opportunities, such as accommodation to house staff and instructors as well as more shops to provide food and leisure products.”
The facility is expected to be operational later this year.
Timely seminar… Agricultural Competiveness in Australia: A look at the Issues
A free public seminar will take place at the University of New England on Friday, 28 March in the John L. Dillon Lecture Theatre, within the Economics Business and Law Building. It will take place from 1-3pm. A light lunch will be available from midday, for which an RSVP is required by 24 March.
The Federal Government recently released an Issues Paper on Agricultural Competitiveness in preparation for redesigning Australian Agricultural Policy. The Foreword of the Issues Paper states: “The government is committed to developing a White Paper that will ensure that agriculture, as one of the five pillars of our economy, realises its full potential through innovation, productivity, investment and trade. It will also focus strongly on farm profitability and revitalising our rural communities.”
UNE intends to make a submission to the White Paper process, and this seminar will serve the purpose of sharing information and exchanging views as part of that submission.
The Paper lists nine major issues, with many specific questions for consideration. The seminar will feature an overview of these issues and then look in more detail at a selection of questions, particularly in areas where UNE is well placed to contribute. The seminar will focus on three major areas: “Farmer decisions for improving farm gate returns”; “Increasing the competitiveness of the agricultural sector and its value chains”; and “Improving the competitiveness of inputs to the supply chain”.
This will be the first of several seminars looking at the issues, to be presented by a selection of experts. The seminar is co-hosted by the New England Branch of the Australian Agricultural & Resource Economics Society and the UNE Business School.
For further information, please e-mail: Dr. George S. Chen
Education And Training Providers Respond To Drought Crisis
Knowledge, skills and recognition to prepare for and manage drought and climate change
“Drought Reach” is a NSW-wide tailored project developed and funded by the NSW Government, to up-skill the State’s agricultural workforce in the areas of drought preparation, sustainability, climate change, financial and farm management, future proofing and more.
The practical training program has been developed to help those currently in drought or who may face drought in the future, manage and re-orient after drought, while rebuilding a more sustainable and viable agriculture business.
There are 30 places for a fully funded Diploma of Agriculture, starting 7/4/14.
Drought Management/Climate Focus: Based on sound industry consultation from farming representatives, and thanks to Rural Skills Australia and TAFE New England, the diploma incorporates:
Flexibility for learners to work around high demand times on the land
An opportunity to gain skills to develop on and off farm income diversification
Self-esteem, self-worth and positive diversion of focus during difficult times
Recognition of current skills and experience, by industry experienced trainers and assessors
Up-skilling and future proofing your land to help better plan for times of drought and climate risk
Exposure to new technologies, opportunities and future articulation into a degree in Agriculture
Front row opportunity for exposure to industry experts and specialists as part of the learning
If sufficient interest is generated, there will be consideration also for a Drought Reach Horticulture focused diploma
The program features drought compassionate trainers and experts in the areas of sustainability, management and farm financial management, online and paddock learning close to home, and on-farm assessment to save the learner travel and time away from the land.
Drought Reach course places are available to all residents of rural and regional NSW, regardless of drought status. For more info or to apply for a place, go to: www.ruralskills.com.au or contact Charles Impey (Rural Skills Australia) by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Top 100 Suburbs for Family Living
Armidale and Narrabri were recently announced as some the country’s top ranking regional centres for family living. Armidale ranked 13th and Narrabri 48th. The list and associated data were compiled for Aussie Home Loans by RP Data.
The Top 100 list ranks suburbs based on a range of factors including house prices, typical block size, average number of bedrooms, historical capital gains and a range of proximity attributes involving schools, health care facilities, child care centres and retail facilities.
The top 100 list for family oriented suburbs showed 39% of the list was comprised of towns located in New South Wales, followed by Victoria (32%) then Queensland (15%). Western Australia failed to show any suburbs within the top 100 list for regional family friendly areas.
See the full report here: www.aussie.com.au/about-us/news/top-100-suburbs-for-family-living.htm
Roads to Recovery Continues, Tamworth Benefits
Local roads are set to benefit thanks to the Coalition Government's five-year, $1.75 billion extension of the Roads to Recovery Programme.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss joined Minister for Agriculture and Federal Member for New England Barnaby Joyce and Tamworth Regional Council Mayor Col Murray at the Tamworth Saleyards recently to outline how future projects would boost the local economy.
“Roads to Recovery supports maintenance of the nation's local road infrastructure network, improving access, safety and the economies of local communities,” Mr Truss said.
“A scheduled upgrade to Phoenix Street will link the Tamworth Regional Lifestock Exchange to Goddard Lane, improving access for B-triples. The project is worth over $350,000 and will be fully Federally funded through the Roads to Recovery, providing a boost to Council and the operators of the saleyards.”
Mr Joyce said transport infrastructure was vital to Australian agriculture, with the industry relying on an efficient and well-connected network to move livestock and produce.
“The Phoenix Street project outside the Tamworth Saleyards will involve pavement upgrading and widening, providing full access for all types of livestock transport,” Mr Joyce said. “The saleyards make an important contribution to the Tamworth economy and this upgrade will increase business opportunities for graziers and transporters.”
Design Thinking for Small Business
The region’s small businesses can now access a new, free, diagnostic tool. The new Design Thinking for Small Business resource had been developed in response to recommendations from the NSW Creative Industries Action Plan.
Small Biz Connect has developed a new design thinking resource, tailored for small businesses, to help companies better identify innovative or creative design-led solutions and opportunities for business growth.
This is a tool for any small business owner or manager looking for smart and useful ways to review and assess their business practices and processes. It comes in the form of an easy-to-use online diagnostic tool which takes the user through a series of questions.
The online diagnostic tool will assist small business owners with:
Reviewing their strategic plan;
Understanding their customer base;
Product development; and
Building skills and innovation
The tool has been initially tailored to manufacturing and designing small businesses and that Small Biz Connect is currently developing a complementary service industry diagnostic tool.
Small businesses can access Design Thinking for Small Business through their local Small Biz Connect adviser.
To book a meeting with a Small Biz Connect adviser to go through the diagnostic tool, or for further information, please visit the website at www.smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au.
What's On In The Northern Inland
Uralla Rotary Annual Art Exhibition
Friday 28th of March to Sunday 6th of April
Uralla Rotary club is celebrating the official opening of their 27th Annual Art Show with a special evening with finger food and local fine wines on Friday the 28th of March at 7pm ($20 entry fee). The exhibition attracts entries from a large number of artists throughout NSW displaying their works in a variety of mediums, including paintings, photography, sculptures and crafts. All works are for sale at reasonable prices, with all proceeds going towards the clubs ongoing community work. Further details are available on the Uralla Tourism website here.
Uralla Lantern Parade
Saturday 29th of March
Join schoolchildren, parents and community members from around Uralla Shire in the annual Uralla Lantern Parade, held in March to coincide with Earth Hour. The sight of a lantern parade coming down the street is a memorable one. Enjoy the parade from the footpaths and after it has passed, follow it down to Alma Park for the finale. Further details are available on the Uralla Tourism website here.
Oracles of The Bush
Thursday 3rd to Sunday 6th of April
Oracles of the Bush is an annual event celebrating Australian bush poetry, music and art. This event boasts among the highest prizemoney for any bush poetry competition in the country. It includes a variety of events such as a Children's Concert, Poets' Concert featuring professional poets, poetry competition heats and final, Patti's Bling dance, breakfasts, lunches and the Poets' Brawl breakfast in Jubilee Park.
As well as its signature events, a number of other community events such as a craft show, markets and the Centenary Cottage Museum display are held in conjunction with this four day celebration. Oracles is held at the start of autumn when Tenterfield's leaves are beginning to turn gold. It's a great place to be at the start of a wonderful season. Further information on the festival’s website: www.oraclesofthebush.com
Taste Tamworth 2014
Friday 4th to Sunday 13th of April.
A 10 day celebration of regional food, wine and produce. The 2014 program offers some new and exciting events for you to 'Taste' your way around Tamworth and the region.
Taste in the Park: is a day of activities and stallholders and sample regional food, meet the producers, check out celeb chef Hayden Quinn or relax in our garden bar.
Hayden Quinn: Celebrity Chef cook book talk at Tamworth Library with Hayden Quinn.
Laneway Pop Up Bar: for one unforgettable night of canapés, regional beer and wine, and cool tunes.
The Long Lunch: join us for a seat at our very long table under the trees in Bicentennial Park for a divine five course lunch cooked by the region’s top chefs.
Farm Gate Trail: take a self drive tour of farms in the region to meet the farmers and try their amazingly fresh produce.
Taste Tamworth Workshops and Activities.
Country camp oven lunch.
Bendemeer "Colours of Autumn" Art & Craft Show
For further information, go to Tamworth Regional Council’s website here.
Inverell Multi-Cultural Day
Saturday 5th of April
There will be demonstrations of different types of cuisine, together with cultural dancing, singing, craft amd heritage to showcase. People to People International Inverell Inc would like to invite residents form all walks of life to come along and enjoy. Further information is available on the Inverell Tourism website here.
Official opening of the Bingara Roxy (Greek) Museum
Saturday 5th to Sunday 6th of April
The Roxy Museum which will be opened by Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC Governor of NSW at 7.15pm, will become a place of national significance that conserves and protects the important cultural association between people and place. The Museum documents the history of Greek settlement in Australia, with particular reference to the Greek involvement in cafés throughout New South Wales and Queensland.
As part of the two day event there will be guided tours of the museum, antique car displays, movie screenings in the Roxy Theatre and talks by special guests. The highlight of the weekend will be the Gala Ball on Saturday evening. Bringing the glamour of the 1930s back to Bingara, the dinner will be an unforgettable evening of Greek feasting and festivity under the stars with entertainment by Australia’s top Greek dance band Ha Va Le.
Tickets for the Gala Ball and further information on the weekend’s events are available on the Roxy’s website at: www.roxybingara.com.au/museum-opening
NSW State Campdraft and Sporting Championships
Saturday 12 to Sunday 13th of April
The 2014 State Sporting and Campdrafting Championships will be proudly hosted by the Tenterfield Pony Club and Zone 13, this event is a big win for Tenterfield, attracting over 600 visitors to town. The State Championships provide the platform for competition at an elite level with up to 350 entries expected from NSW and QLD. Further details are available on the Pony Club NSW website here.
Nundle Go For Gold Chinese Easter Festival
Saturday19th and Sunday 20th April
Be part of the second largest annual festival in northern inland NSW attracting 16,000 people over two days. The annual festival honours the significant role of Chinese and European miners and storekeepers in the development of the Nundle and Hanging Rock townships.
The Festival includes striking Chinese dance performances twice daily, live music acts, more than 100 food, produce, craft and bric-a-brac market stalls, magician, children's story time, gold panning, and face painting. The 2014 Nundle Go For Gold Chinese Easter Festival Program will offer something for all ages and tastes. Further information is available on the Nundle Tourism website:
Boggabri Arts & Crafts Exhibition
Saturday 19th to Sunday 27th of April
Boggabri Arts & Crafts Exhibition will showcase a range of media including watercolour, oil & acrylic paintings, photography, pottery & other mediums. The exhibition begins with a Cocktail opening night with the opportunity to preview the artworks on exhibit. Enjoy the evening with champagne & canapés & the ambience of live music. Further information is available on Narrabri Tourism website here.
Delungra Quilt and Craft Exhibition
Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th of April
The Delungra Quilters club look forward to sharing their interests with you ath their 10th annual Quilt and Craft Exhibition at the Delungra Multi-Purpose Hall. There will be many attractions including many local quilts and crafts items on display, a variety of demonstrations, raffles, competitions, a cent auction and trading table and local shop stands. Further information is available on the Inverell Toursim website.
NSW State Dressage Championships
Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th of April
Dressage is often referred to as the "gymnastics" of horse training, since it is designed to improve the suppleness and responsiveness of the horse and the skill of the rider. It is required as basic training for all equestrian events. The Pony Club Association holds a State Dressage Championship every year. Competitors must ride standard written tests from memory and are judged on their ability to perform in harmony with their horse. Further details are on the Pony Club NSW website here.
New Grants and Funding Opportunities
Community Heritage Grants
Closes: 2nd May, 2014
The Community Heritage Grants (CHG) program provides grants of up to $15,000 to community organisations such as libraries, archives, museums, genealogical and historical societies, multicultural and Indigenous groups. The grants are provided to assist with the preservation of locally owned, but nationally significant collections of materials that are publicly accessible including artefacts, letters, diaries, maps, photographs, and audio visual material.
More information is available here - www.nla.gov.au/awards-and-grants/chg
NSW Sport & Recreation Grants
Closes: 2nd April, 2014
The Sport and Recreation Participation and Facility Program (PFP) is now open. There are two distinct project types eligible for funding under the Participation and Facility Program:
Participation projects – that deliver a sport or physical activity participation experience to an identified group of people (program based)
Facility development projects – building new or upgrading existing sport and recreation facilities. Eligible applicants are not-for-profit incorporated organisations and local government authorities.
Details about the Participation and Facility Program, including the Guidelines and the online application process, are available at www.dsr.nsw.gov.au/grants/pfp.asp.
Australia Post Grants
Closes: 4th April, 2014
Australia Post is calling on community groups and charitable organisations to apply for its Our Neighbourhood Community Grants program, to fund local community projects.
Now in its second year, the Our Neighbourhood Community Grants program offers one-off cash payments of up to $10,000.
Grants will be awarded based on the following key focus areas:
projects that connect and/or educate regional and remote communities digitally;
projects that support the start-up of small businesses in regional and remote communities through technology;
projects that support social enterprises to increase employment opportunities for marginalised Australians;
projects that foster community spirit through connecting and supporting marginalised Australians;
projects that support communities to be better prepared for a disaster.
To apply for an Our Neighbourhood Community Grant or to find out more about eligibility criteria, visit ourneighbourhood.com.au.
NRMA Community Grants
Closes: 31st March
Every day, in every community, thousands of Australians dedicate their time and energy to making their community safer, more sustainable and better prepared to respond to emergencies.
Why not apply for extra help with funding, with applications now open for the 2014 NRMA Insurance Community Grants program.
The NRMA Insurance Community Grants Program supports this by providing grants of up to $5,000 to community projects in the areas of crime prevention, road safety, emergency readiness and response and the environment.
If your organisation or project relates to any of the following areas including Crime Prevention, Road Safety, Emergency Readiness and Response, Environment, then this funding is for you!
More information here - www.communitygrantsprogram.com.au