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March 2016 Newsletter

In this Issue:

Welcome from the Chair

Dear Northern Inlanders,

Welcome back for another great month of articles and information. This month marks the end of our Northern Lights project which converted over 4,500 streetlights around the region to more energy efficient LEDs, saving participating Councils over $400,000 per year.

We’re also pleased to announce that we now have access to REMPLAN economic modelling software to help our Local Councils and Not-For-Profits build an evidence base for grant funding. You can read more about this below and please get in touch if we can assist you in any way.


Russell Stewart

Regional Energy Efficiency Project a Big Winner

RDANI Snr Project Officer David Thompson discussing LED street lights with Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall
RDANI Snr Project Officer David Thompson discussing LED street lights with Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall

Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) Senior Project Officer David Thompson has collated and analysed the energy efficiency benefits of the new LED street lights in Local Government Areas which took part in the RDANI Northern Lights Project. “By comparing January 2015 to January 2016 street light bills from individual council retailers, we now have a clear picture of just how much we have cut energy costs for the region,” Mr Thompson said.

“The cost-benefit is so good that the pay-back period is much shorter than we first envisaged.”

Mr Thompson is currently preparing a final report for the Federal Government, which funded the Northern Lights Project.

RDANI Equipped with Rapid Socio-Economic Assessment Software

RDANI has recently taken out a subscription to the REMPLAN software, which provides rapid and easy access to a wealth of socio-economic and community data, socio-economic impact modelling and tourism impact information.

The data covers the 13 individual local government areas (LGAs) under our charter as well as the RDANI region and NSW.

The information which can be quickly extracted and analysed includes statistics on:

  • Key economic indicators – employment, wages & salaries, local sales, exports, local expenditure, imports, value-added, gross regional product, key propulsive sectors;
  • Opportunities for import replacement;
  • Economic impacts from new investment or job creation;
  • Economic impacts from tourism events;
  • Workforce;
  • Population and migration/mobility;
  • Families and households;
  • Education;
  • Work;
  • Housing;
  • Wellbeing;
  • Socio-economic advantage/disadvantage scores;
  • Impacts of population or housing stock changes.

The data can be utilised by business or local government to assess economic trends in the region, estimate economic impacts to support project development, inform funding applications and assist in developing promotional information for the region.

Economic and community profiles can now be publicly accessed from our website at www.rdani.org.au/our-region/regional-data.php including a version in Chinese.  These can be filtered down to an individual LGA level.

Rural opportunity: Mixed Farming Update

Regional Development Australia Northern is proud to support the upcoming Mixed Farming Update. Collaboratively developed by Local Land Services, this special one-day forum with supply farm business operators with the latest information on a range of timely and practical topics of interest to them. The Mixed Farming Update will take place at the Inverell RSM Club on Thursday 7 April, 2016 from 8:30am to 3:30pm. The $20 cost includes morning tea and lunch.

“With the theme ‘For your business now and the future’, this is a great initiative and I join Local Land Services in encouraging mixed farming operators throughout the region to come along and make the most of it,” said RDANI Chair Russell Stewart.

The topics and presenters will be:

What do the free trade agreements and government support mean for producers?
Rob Harrison, NSW Department of Industry

Agronomy of chickpea and faba beans and their influence on soil health.
Gordon Cumming, Pulse Australia

Potential for tropical pasture legumes leucaena and desmanthus and their influence on soil water.
Sean Murphy, NSW DPI

Precision agriculture in practice.
Brooke Sauer, McGregor Gourlay

Low stress conversations on family farms.
Jen Habercht, NSW DPI

The benefits of grass pasture leys on soil health.
Lyndsay Bell, CSIRO

Applying phosphorus fertiliser to legumes in subtropical pastures.
Chris Guppy, UNE

Maximising production using effective supplementary feeding.
Jason Siddell, Northern Tablelands Local Land Services and Sally Balmain, North West Local Land Services

RSVP by: Monday 4 April, 2016

For further information:

Glen Uebergang:
Senior Land Services Officer- Mixed Farming
Northern Tablelands Local Land Services
E : glen.uebergang@lls.nsw.gov.au M: 0429 217 066

George Truman:
Senior Land Services Officer- Mixed Farming
North West Local Land Services
E: george.truman@lls.nsw.gov.au M: 0427 505 040

Come On Shoppers!

It is time to give a local a go – online. Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI), with support from Local Councils and Chambers of Commerce, has built the region’s biggest and most innovative online shopping centre. Come On Shopping is a user-friendly online shopping centre experience for the region’s businesses and customers. “It is a nation-leading project, completely developed right here in Northern Inland NSW and it’s something local businesses and shoppers should get behind,” said RDANI Chair Russell Stewart.

RDANI is a not-for-profit organisation and is delivering Come On Shopping as a cost-effective service, to help local businesses access online trading and help grow the region’s digital economy. Come On Shopping allows a business to access a user-friendly website with full online shopping cart functionality, from as little as $39 per month.

“The number of retailers giving online retailing a go through Come on Shopping is growing steadily, with the pro-active participating retailer tally now at 15,” Mr Stewart said. “Ultimately, it will be up to locals to support these businesses, if this great project is to be sustainable.”

The Come On Shopping initiative will help channel growth in the region. Any business looking to be involved or find out more can contact Tiffany on 1300 966 575 or go to www.comeonshopping.com.au

AGCAP at Youth Opportunities Expo

igh school students throughout the New England flocked to UNE's Lazemby Hall on Thursday 17 March, 2015 to improve their awareness of the opportunities that are available to them. The event was far more holistic than traditional careers expo, with over 40 stall holders ranging from education and training providers to emergency services, health related organisations and Regional Development Australia Northern Inland.

The Youth Opportunities Expo was prompted by a youth survey, conducted by Armidale Dumaresq Council and resulted from collaboration among numerous organisations. The event's success, means it is unlikely to have been a one-off. “It was an ideal forum to promote the RDANI supported AGCAP  (AgriBusiness Careers and Professions) program,” said RDANI Executive Officer Nathan Axelsson (pictured above) at the expo.

Mr Axelsson said it was encouraging to see the amount of interest there is in education and training towards agribusiness careers among local teenagers, particularly girls.

For more information about AGCAP, go to www.agribusinesscareers.com.au or  watch at www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8gFzNLQF_Y

Sustainability: The Gift That Keeps Giving

L to R: Uralla Mayor Michael Pierce, Renewable Energy Coordinator Lauren Zell, Energy Education Officer Peter Stanley and ZNET Uralla Executive Member Peter Low
L to R: Uralla Mayor Michael Pierce, Renewable Energy Coordinator Lauren Zell, Energy Education Officer Peter Stanley and ZNET Uralla Executive Member Peter Low

Regional Development Australia Northern Inland’s Northern Lights Project has seen RDANI Energy Efficiency Education Officer, Peter Stanley using a purpose built interactive display to explain energy efficiency at events around the New England. Now, as that project is coming to a close, Mr Stanley donated the RDANI energy efficiency educational material to representatives of the Uralla ZNET project.

“The display developed by Regional Development Australia Northern Inland consisted of a large touch-screen with a virtual, interactive home that showed energy usage and savings in relation to different standard devices. This program was developed in-house. The screen was in custom-made housing,” said Mr Stanley. “It proved to be an engaging resource for energy efficiency community education.”

How can your Community Entice People to #MAKETHEMOVE?

The Regional Australia Institute (RAI) is searching for community-led initiatives enticing people to live, and stay, in regional Australia. The call to uncover local success stories comes as part of a wider project the RAI is developing to identify innovation in regional Australia.

Titled “Innovation Watch”, the project will offer a platform to share insights and build a nation-wide discussion about successful community-led initiatives.

The RAI CEO Jack Archer said the concept behind the project is simple, “it is an opportunity to promote local success stories and connect people around the country who are doing great things; we want regions to learn from the success of others.

“Innovation comes in many forms, it’s not just about scientists in laboratories. Innovation is about people finding new ways of doing things, developing new ideas and helping their communities grow.”

Mr Archer says the overall aim is to get regions using approaches that actually work.

“If other regions have found innovation success, let’s learn from them, but we need communities to come forward and help us uncover the hidden gems,” said Mr Archer.

The first Innovation Watch theme is based on migration trends – what are regions doing to get people to move, and stay, in their area? Regional Australia is a great place to live and migration offers many advantages; including population growth, new skills and diversity, but sometimes regions need to get creative to help people make the move.

If you’re passionate about regional Australia, join the RAI search and help uncover local innovation in the region. Follow the Regional Australia Institute on Facebook and LinkedIn, @RegionalAus on Twitter. Tag #makethemove to join the innovation discussion.

Grants and Funding Opportunities

Small Grants for Rural Communities

The Small Grants for Rural Communities is the longest running and broadest program FRRR offers, opening twice per year.

It is a great example of a collaborative program supported by various partners which has the flexibility to address issues that make a difference to the sustainability of rural, regional and remote communities.

Grants of up to $5,000 are available for projects and activities that offer clear public benefit for communities  in rural, regional or remote Australia. Priority is given to communities of 10,000 or fewer. Applicants must be not-for-profit community organisations with an ABN or incorporation certificate.

For further information, go to www.frrr.org.au

Our Languages, Our Way’ Community Language Grants

This program supports the ongoing celebration of Aboriginal culture and cultural revitalisation by assisting Aboriginal organisations to develop and implement language projects in partnership with local communities.
The ‘Our Languages, Our Way’ Community Language Grants applications will close on Friday, 6 May 2016.
For more information please visit www.aboriginalaffairs.nsw.gov.au/our-languages-our-way-language-grant-program

NSW Government’s Public Reserves Management Fund Program (PRMF)

This program is to improve and enhance the hundreds of public reserves in the region. Crown reserve

holiday parks, local parks and reserves, state parks and showgrounds on Crown land will be eligible for funding, along with freehold showgrounds and schools of arts. Applications close 8th of April.

Find out more at www.crownland.nsw.gov.au

What’s On in the Northern Inland

New England TechFest
Thursday 31st March to Saturday 2nd April, 2016
Armidale City Bowling Club

Oracles of the Bush
Thursday 31st March to Sunday 3rd April, 2016

Premer Farmers Field Day
Wednesday 6th April

Taste Tamworth Festival
Monday 1st April – Sunday 10th April, 2016

Moree Superstar Grand Final
Saturday 9th April 2016 from 1pm
Moree Memorial Hall

Copeton Fresh Water Swim
Saturday 9th April 2016 from 1pm
Copeton Dam, Inverell

Inverell Pioneer Village Machinery Rally
Saturday 17th September  to Sunday 18th September 2016

Boggabri Drovers Campfire
(A Northern Inland Innovation Awards 2015 Finalist)
Wednesday 20th April to Monday 25th April, 2016
Boggabri Show Ground

Australian Celtic Festival
Tuesday 26th April to Sunday 1st May, 2016
Glen Innes

18th Annual Vintage Machinery & Miniature Railway Rally & Swap Meet
Saturday 30th April to Sunday 1st May, 2016

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