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March 2015 Newsletter

In this Issue:

Welcome from the Chair

Dear Northern Inlanders,

Since being given the honour of representing our fantastic region as Chair of Regional Development Australia Northern Inland two months ago, it’s apparent that many in our community are somewhat clouded as to the role of Regional Development Australia, and in particular our Northern Inland Committee. To address this issue and to establish greater contact and partnerships in the region, we encourage you to read about who we are and what we do below.

It is critical for Regional Development Australia Northern Inland to cement a solid, ongoing working partnership with our 13 local Councils within our region, as well as all forms of industry and the wider community.  I believe our Northern Inland region is the most outstandingly diverse region in Australia and with your help, we intend to work towards securing the best there is to offer for the entire region.

Local, solid relationships will be the key to success over the next three years, and I look forward to hearing from anyone keen to work with us, to develop practical tools to work on the healthy growth of Regional Development Australia’s Northern Inland region. Our focus for the next three years will be Economic Development and Employment.


Russell Stewart, Chair

Regional Development Australia - Northern Inland

Who are we?
Regional Development Australia (RDA) is an Australian Government initiative that brings together all levels of government to enhance the development of Australia's regions. A national network of RDA committees has been established to achieve this objective. There are 55 RDA committees nationally, with 14 in NSW.

RDANI Structure, Funding and Staffing
RDANI is a Not-For-Profit Incorporated Association, overseen by a local Committee and Chair appointed by the NSW and Commonwealth Governments, which both provide funding that is supplemented by external or project based revenue. Workforce, business and industry advancement and general economic development of the region are the organisation’s focus. The day-to-day operations of RDANI are managed by an Executive Officer, and there are currently four staff who undertake project work/management and administrative functions.

Our primary objective is to work with a broad cross-section of local stakeholders to advance economic development in the region.  In the past, our role has included an environmental and social charter, however the Commonwealth and State Government have shifted the emphasis to now focus purely on economic development and employment growth.

Examples of Our Work & Achievements:

  • Working directly with businesses to help them to grow and boost employment
  • Sourcing grant funding for local government and regional infrastructure
  • Developing business cases for new economic
  • Assisting businesses with grant applications
  • Over the past 5 years, we have facilitated the skilled migration of over 900 workers to this region, where needed, to the region to assist with skilled labour
  • Analysis and research for local government
  • Economic analysis
  • Providing analysis and commentary on government policy
  • Promoting the region as a place to live and establish a business
  • Run the annual Northern Inland Innovation Awards
  • Serve the region as a central apolitical hub, linking to the multitude of government agencies, departments and specialised businesses in the region
  • Advocate on behalf of regional issues
  • Make submissions to support council plans and policy positions
  • Provide energy efficiency information for local residents and businesses.

How can we Assist Local Government and Industry?

  • Source funding for infrastructure and other projects
  • Develop funding applications on behalf of proponents
  • Develop business cases for investments and projects
  • Conduct economic analyses of projects and proposals
  • Provide research and analysis of data relevant to government and industry decision making
  • Assist councils and industry with funding bids (e.g. supply demographic and economic data)
  • Alert councils and industry to new funding opportunities
  • Run the annual Northern Inland Business Innovation Awards – an opportunity for councils and their local businesses to promote their innovative practices at the regional level
  • Develop networks and contacts for councils and industry
  • Advocate on behalf of regional issues
  • Make submissions to support council plans and policy positions
  • Provide energy efficiency information for local residents and businesses

Call for Local Leaders to Drive Northern Inland Economic Development

Community volunteers are being sought to join the Regional Development Australia Northern Inland Committee to fill the Deputy Chair and Committee positions.

RDA is a national network of committees made up of local people volunteering their time and energy to develop local solutions to local issues.

Leaders with the skills, experience and knowledge to build networks within the business community, industry, education and all levels of government are required to facilitate wide consultation and develop local solutions for regional economic development.   They will identify infrastructure projects which contribute to long term economic growth of the region and have been identified as priorities.

RDA Northern Inland Chair Russell Stewart said Expressions of Interest were being sought for the positions of Deputy Chair as well as for Committee Members who will contribute to regional plans that focus on increasing investment, improving infrastructure and boosting business activity.

“This is a great opportunity for people within the region who care about economic development and jobs to step forward and commit to making big decisions about our future,” Mr Stewart said.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our regional economy so we are seeking innovative people with solid hands-on business experience.

“The Northern Inland is a large and diverse region and potential committee members will therefore need a good knowledge of the entire region,” he said.

EOIs are open until 5pm Tuesday 7th of April 2015.

Further information, including an EOI form and information booklet, can be found at www.rda.gov.au or by contacting 1800 505 938 (Mon–Fri 9am-5pm AEDST) or email rdaeoi@infrastructure.gov.au.

Autumn Energy Saving Tips

RDANI Energy Efficiency Education Officer with the Northern Lights Project, Peter Stanley offered some autumnal advice for when the unseasonably warm temperatures simmer down.

“The cooler autumn and winter months are just around the corner. The air conditioner will be a most welcome asset, as it heats the rooms in the house up to a comfortable temperature,” he said.

“Don’t be tempted to set a higher than normal temperature just because it is colder outside. The manufacturer’s recommended setting for cold weather should be followed (usually between 17 - 19 degrees C), as that is when the unit is operating most efficiently and costing you the least amount of money.”

“The simple act of putting on warmer clothes - rather than turning a dial which increases your energy bill by 10% - is a much more sensible alternative.”

The National Stronger Regions Fund

Round One of the National Stronger Regions Fund (NSRF) closed on 28 November 2014, with successful projects to be announced in May 2015.

RDANI advises that Round Two of NSRF will open on 1 May and close on 31 July 2015. Access to the Grants Management System (GMS) Portal for Round Two will be available from that date.

This programme will provide funding of $1 billion over 5 years, commencing in 2015-16, to fund priority infrastructure in regional communities.

  •     Grants must be between $20,000 and $10 million.
  •     Local government and incorporated not-for-profit organisations are eligible to apply.
  •     Grant funding must be matched in cash on at least a dollar for dollar basis.
  •     Funding will be provided for capital projects which involve construction of new infrastructure, or the upgrade, extension or enhancement of existing infrastructure.
  •     The project must deliver an economic benefit to the region beyond the period of construction.
  •     Projects should support disadvantaged regions or areas of disadvantage within a region.
  •     The NSRF funded part of the project must be completed on or before 31 December 2019.

For information go to http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/funding/NSRF/

The NSW Strategy

The NSW Government has released its Economic Development Strategy for Regional NSW. Trade and Investment NSW has also produced and published online nine economic profiles for Regional NSW – see the local region’s at:

“A strategy for regional development should be holistic, so we’re definitely seeing aspects of this strategy which are pointing in the right direction,” RDANI Chair, Russell Stewart said.

The Strategy identifies five goals to enable economic growth:

  • Promote key regional sectors and regional competitiveness.
  • Drive regional employment and regional business growth.
  • Invest in economic infrastructure and connectivity.
  • Maximise government efficiency and enhance regional governance.
  • Improve information sharing and build the evidence base.

It brings together more than 100 existing initiatives, with 23 new actions, that contribute to economic growth in Regional NSW.

Complementing the Strategy, the regional economic profiles describe local economic performance and highlight emerging trends and industry opportunities.

Grants and Funding Opportunities

Free Industry Skills Fund Information Sessions

Find out how the Industry Skills Fund (Growth Stream) can help you with skills advice and training support in your business.
Join AusIndustry's interactive and practical information session on the grants and assistance available through the Australian Government’s Single Business Service.

The focus of the session will be on the $476 million Industry Skills Fund (Growth Stream) which will provide up to 200,000 training places and support services over four years.

Tuesday, 31st of March 2015, 11.00am – 12.00noon
University of New England, Tamworth Centre, 24 Fitzroy St
Register by by 2pm, Friday, 27 March 2015

Wednesday, 1 April 2015, 11.00am – 12.00noon
Armidale City Bowling Club, 92-96 Dumaresq Street
Register by 2pm, Monday, 30 March 2015

Community War Memorial Grants
Applications close: 25th of April 2015

Local veterans’ groups, sports clubs, councils and schools can apply for funding to repair local war memorials. Grants of up to $10,000 are now available under the NSW Government’s Community War Memorial Grant Fund, with applications closing on Anzac Day this year.

The funding will support vital repairs to plaques, honour boards and facades which commemorate NSW veterans who have served across many theatres of conflict, from the Boer War onwards. One local example is: Moree War Memorial upgraded two plaques containing the names of 260 soldiers courtesy of a $4,000 grant.

Our Neighbourhood Community Grants - Australia Post
Applications close: 2nd of April 2015

The 2015 Our Neighbourhood Community Grants program encourages community organisations to apply for funding of one-off cash payments of up to $10,000

Community Grants Program - NRMA Insurance
Applications close 31st of March 2015

The Community Grants program supports grassroots organisations with big ideas to make our communities safer, stronger and more confident.

Assistance for Small Exporters - Department of Agriculture
Applications are ongoing

On 13 May 2014, the government announced a $15 million package to assist small exporters, comprising three components – a rebate for eligible small exporters is available in 2014-15 to assist with export registration charges; a review of export fees and charges; and funding for projects that will help improve market access for small exporters.

Endowment Challenge Fund - The Endeavour Foundation
Applications close: 24th of April 2015

The Fund seeks to encourage quality and innovation in the disability services sector. Grants are available for researchers and postgraduate students to undertake research into issues of key importance.

Men's Health Community Grants - Foundation 49
Applications close: 22nd of May 2015

The purpose of the grants is to fund activities across Australia to raise awareness of men’s health issues and encourage men to have a regular health check.

Industry Skills Fund - Youth Stream - Business (AUS)
Applications close: 29th of February 2016

The Industry Skills Fund - Youth Stream includes two pilot programmes, Training for Employment Scholarships and Youth Engagement Pathways.

Australian Disability Enterprises Excellence Award 2015 - Department of Social Services
Entries close: 10th of Apr 2015

This award recognises, encourages and promotes the significant contribution that Disability Enterprises make in improving the lives of people with disability and provides an opportunity to recognise the dual focus of Disability Enterprises as being viable businesses providing high quality employment to people with disability.

Museum Grants
Applications are ongoing

Museums & Galleries of NSW (M&G NSW) provides programs and services improving the visitor experience in small to medium museums, galleries and Aboriginal cultural centres across NSW.

National Cultural Heritage grants
Applications are ongoing

The National Cultural Heritage Account is open to Australian cultural organisations—including museums, art galleries, libraries, archives, historic buildings, national trusts and local history museums and galleries, and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander keeping place for sacred/secret material.

What’s On in the Northern Inland

Nundle Go For Gold Chinese Easter Festival
Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th of April

Taste Tamworth 2015
Saturday 4th to Monday 13th of April

Run4Kids Colour Run
Saturday 11th of April

Evening of Cotton
Wednesday 15th of April

Bingara Care for Kids Charity Junior Campdraft & Sporting Program
Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th of April

Boggabri Art & Craft Exhibition
Saturday 18th to Sunday 26th of April

Groovin’ The Blues
Saturday 18th of April

Namoi Valley Relay for Life - Paint the town Purple
Saturday 18th of April

Moree Super Star Grand Final
Saturday 18th of April

Boggabri Drovers Campfire
Friday 24thto Sunday 26th of April

Letters Home – Commemorating the ANZAC Centenary
Friday 24th of April
Glen Innes

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Phone02 6771 0700
Opening Hours 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday
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Address 143 Marsh Street
Armidale NSW 2350
Postal Address PO Box 72
Armidale NSW 2350
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An Australian Government Initiative