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March 2021 Newsletter

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In this Issue

Welcome from the Chair

Russell Stewart - Chair

Dear Northern Inlanders,

With the recent flooding events in our region, the resilience of our communities is being tested yet again. It is hard to believe that we have been impacted by drought, bushfires, a pandemic and now floods in such close succession. I am proud to be part of this region and to see how our communities continue to rally together in these tough times.

We have put together a list of resources to help individuals and businesses gain access to the assistance that is currently available from the Australian and NSW Governments, which is available below. We will also be posting updates for any new grants or assistance that we are aware of on our Facebook page and in our grants database as they come to hand.

I am pleased that we have been able to expand our occupation list for skilled migrants that are seeking to move to our region this month. With the inclusion of 60 occupations we are able to reflect the wide range of skills that are currently needed by employers in our region. As these new residents settle into our region along with their families it will help our communities and businesses recover and grow into the future.


Russell Stewart

Assistance for Individuals and Businesses Impacted by Floods

Individuals and businesses that have been impacted by the current floods in the region can access financial support from the Australian and NSW Governments. Many banks and service providers are also offering assistance with details available on their websites.

Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said Services Australia staff have mobilised and are providing immediate on-the-ground support to people affected by the devastating floods across New South Wales. “The Australian Government is supporting communities through this crisis, and Services Australia have surged over 5000 staff to support the current disaster response effort,” Mr Coulton said.

The Australian Government is currently offering:

  • Disaster Recovery Payment – A one-off payment of $1,000 per eligible adult and $400 per child.
  • Disaster Recovery Allowance – Up to 13 weeks of payments for employees, primary producers and sole traders who have experienced a loss of income due to the floods.
  • Paused Debt Raising and Recovery – Those in affected areas don’t need to make repayments on any outstanding Centrelink debts for 6 months.

Further details on both of these payments and the pause on debt, including how to apply is available on the Service Australia website. Services Australia Disaster Assistance phone lines are open from 8am to 8pm local time, seven days a week on 180 22 66.

The NSW Government is providing a range of assistance for individuals and businesses including the Disaster Relief Grant for individuals whose home or essential household contents were damaged or destroyed and the Flood Disaster Recovery Small Business Grant. To find out what is available, you can use their Disaster Assistance Finder or call 13 77 88.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries and Local Land Services have developed a Natural Disaster Assistance Guide for Primary Producers which outlines the available support for landholders, primary producers, commercial fishers, aquaculturists and foresters impacted by the recent floods. Assistance for owners of rural animals and livestock is also available from the NSW Government through the Agriculture and Animal Services Hotline on 1800 814 647.

Many people in our region are going through hard times, and if you are feeling overwhelmed, or finding it tough, it is important to reach out and talk to someone rather than just pushing through. Services such as Lifeline (13 11 14), Beyond Blue (1300 224 636) and Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) are here to help you.

Occupation List for 491 Visa Nominations Expanded

We are pleased to advise that we have added new occupations for those seeking NSW nomination for the Skilled Work Regional 491 Visa. Our occupation list now includes sixty occupations that reflect the wide range of skills that are currently needed by employers in the Northern Inland. With this expansion, we are now able to include a range of skills, including areas such as mental health, nursing, teachers, hospitality, mechanics, hairdressers, and other trades.

Employers that have skill shortages that they are seeking to fill are encouraged to utilise our free Skilled Migrations Jobs Board Northern Inland Facebook Group. This group has over 1,000 members and is an effective and free way of connecting with individuals that have the skills you need. Just like any job advertisement, there is no obligation to employ someone if you don’t find the person that is right for your business. Further information about the 491 visa for employers is available on our website.

If you have any questions about applying for a 491 visa nomination after reading through how to apply for a 491 visa nomination and our frequently asked questions or are an employer wanting to know more, please contact our Senior Skilled Migration Officer, Gary Fry on 02 6771 0700 or at migration@rdani.org.au

Join the Grow Glen Innes Think Tank

Registrations are now open for the Grow Glen Innes Think Tank!

This initiative will facilitate connection and collaboration in the community by bringing together community members and Margot Davis, Manager Economic Development for Glen Innes Severn Council. Locals are encouraged to participate to share their experience, knowledge and ideas about how key elements of the Economic Development Action Plan can be delivered. While Glen Innes Severn Council will be facilitating these workshops, the Grow Glen Innes Think Tank will not be a formal committee of council to allow greater flexibility.

Registering your interest is the first step to getting involved and includes 6 short questions. From your answers, Margot will be able to invite you to a range of workshop sessions that are relevant to your experience and interest. You will then be able to choose this list to manage the amount of time you are able to contribute. Each session will be facilitated with clear goals and objectives to make the best use of everyone’s time.

Industry Submissions Sought for Regional Strengths and Gaps Project

Infrastructure Australia has recently commenced a Regional Strengths and Gaps project, aiming to provide a national view of the diverse strengths and infrastructure gaps facing Australia’s regions, to identify priority areas for future planning and analysis. By identifying these gaps, Infrastructure Australia hopes to encourage governments, industry, and the community to come forward with solutions to address these challenges.

The project includes regions as defined by the Regional Development Australia (RDA) boundaries, focusing on 48 regions, including the Northern Inland, and consulting with state committees. An important part of this project is capturing the views of industries working in our regions to inform the prioritisation process via this open submission process. Your submission will be used as one of the inputs into the identification and prioritisation process for each RDA.

Following a national consultation process, a Regional Strengths and Gaps report will be released by Infrastructure Australia. The report will detail the strengths and prioritised infrastructure gaps for each RDA.

Submissions can be made through the Infrastructure Australia website by Friday the 16th of April. If you wish to provide feedback for multiple regions, you will need to complete a separate form for each region. If you have any questions you can contact Infrastructure Australia at mail@infrastructureaustralia.gov.au.

Inland Rail Jobs on Offer

The construction of the Narrabri to North Star section of the Inland Rail is bringing significant benefits to our region. Currently it is providing unique employment opportunities to residents in the North West with the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) and Trans4m Rail hiring local workers.

“We’re now in an exciting time. As major construction activity gains momentum in the region over the coming months, there are opportunities for local businesses and individuals to take action and get involved.” said Local member for Parkes and Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government Mark Coulton

“More than 500 people are expected to directly work on the construction of Inland Rail from Narromine to North Star – many of these roles will be filled by locals who have the opportunity to deliver a major piece of infrastructure that will provide long-term benefits for our region.”

ARTC Inland Rail Chief Executive Officer Richard Wankmuller said the use of local suppliers is front of mind for ARTC. “There will be many more opportunities as Inland Rail progresses, so we encourage local businesses of all shapes and sizes to submit their interest,” Mr Wankmuller said. “We need the right people and businesses to be involved to deliver the work on-time, on-budget and with minimal disruption. If you are a company, a partnership or a sole trader and you think you have a service that could benefit us, it is crucial that we hear from you.”

A work-ready program will be rolled out in the coming months and consists of rail industry training, a range of general civil construction units and site exposure to ensure participants receive a strong introduction to the construction industry.

Trans4m Rail are currently looking to fill a range of professional, trades, labour, operator and entry level roles, and further details are available on the employment opportunities section of their website. You can also sign up for email alerts for new job listings. Inland rail also has a listing of currently available positions on the job vacancies section of their website.

Featured Grants and Funding Opportunities

Below are some featured grants and funding opportunities from the multitude of open grants listed in our Grants and Funding Opportunities Database on our website. Our website is updated weekly with new listings and updates and all are applicable to our region, so it is a great resource if you are looking for funding for a specific project.

You can also sign up to our free Business and Infrastructure Funding Opportunities and the Community Grants and Award Programs newsletters through the simple form located in the footer of our website, www.rdani.org.au, to receive monthly summaries of current grants.

Domestic Airports Security Costs Support
Closes: 1st of September 2021 - 5:00 pm
Value: Varies by applicant
Run By: Australian Government Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications

The objective of the DASCS program is to assist eligible domestic airports receiving Regular Public Transport (RPT) services to maintain regulated security screening obligations that must be met regardless of the reduced volume of aviation activity during the COVID-19 crisis.

By directly funding these costs, the DASCS program will provide relief for airports, a range of RPT airlines, including those servicing regional and remote Australia, and mitigate ticket price pressure at a time when consumer demand is fragile.


Modern Manufacturing Initiative - Recycling and Clean Energy - Manufactuing Integration and Translation Streams
Closes: 5th of May 2021 - 5:00 am
Value: $1 Million to $20 Million
Run By: Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources

The Modern Manufacturing Initiative aims to stimulate business investment in the manufacturing sectorby addressing barriers to scaleand competitiveness for Australian manufacturers. It aimsto build manufacturing capabilities and networks, lift productivity, create jobs, build global competitiveness and boost the export potentialof Australian manufacturers. The government has designed the initiative to unlock private sector investment through three streams,Manufacturing Integration Stream, Manufacturing Translation Stream and Manufacturing Collaboration Stream.

Materials and energy are at the heart of manufacturing. Modernising how we use them is central to building an advanced manufacturing economy that realises more potential from our resources and supports our national resilience, economic recovery and environmental sustainability.

The Manufacturing Integration Stream will support projects that integrate Australian businesses into domestic and international value chains, propelling their goods and services into new markets and foster Australia’s reputation as a modern manufacturing leader.It will encourage and facilitate linkages between local businesses and domestic and international firms, increasing scale, supply capacity, and the ability to innovate. It will also facilitate the adoption of product standards and greater sharing and transfer of knowledge.

The Manufacturing Translation Stream will support projects that aid the translation of high quality research and ideas into commercial outcomes and support businesses to scale-up and become more competitive and resilient. It will support businesses to adopt new technologies and improve their manufacturing processes to boost productivity and competitiveness.

Materials and energy are at the heart of manufacturing. Modernising how we use them is central to building an advanced manufacturing economy that realises more potential from our resources and supports our national resilience, economic recovery and environmental sustainability.

Tackling Tough Times Together
Current Round Closes: 24th of May 2021
Value: Up to $60,000 depending on the tier applied for
Run By: Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal

The Tackling Tough Times Together grant program helps communities access the resources they need to support one another through the ongoing effects of the drought.

This program is designed to provide flexible funding to support community-based activities that both help to relieve current stressors and symptoms, and most importantly, build capacity and resilience for the future. Funds could also support activities that engage your local community in being proactive, exploring options and creating something that will stand the test of tough times.

The program is divided into two parts, funding for projects up to $60,000 and funding for projects up to $150,000. Projects seeking funding for between $60,000 and $150,000 must speak to the Foundation first and submit and EOI with an earlier closing date.

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