In This Issue:
Welcome From The Chair
Dear fellow Northern Inland residents,
Having just returned from the national Regional Development Australia Forum in Adelaide, which had the overarching theme of ‘Stronger Regions, Stronger Nation’, I feel more confident that the concept of regionalism is being entrenched in the minds of governments at all levels.
All 55 Chairs, Deputy Chairs and Executive Officers from across Australia gathered together for three days to work out the nuts and bolts of Regional Development and how we at a grassroots level can make a change.
Programs like the Regional Development Australia Fund and the regional rollout of the National Broadband Network are key initiatives that will help ensure that our region stays strong and remains a great contributor to the strength of the nation.
Mal Peters, Chair
Looking for Solutions to Northern Inland’s Freight Problems
A study to find ways to improve the condition of our local and regional roads to increase freight efficiency has been commissioned by Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) and the 13 Local Councils in the region. The project will look at the benefits of increased investment by governments and the private sector in road freight infrastructure and demonstrate the economic benefit to the region.
The study will look at both infrastructure and non‐infrastructure projects and will focus on identifying barriers that are constraining freight movement and importantly will conduct a cost‐benefit analysis demonstrating what Government and the private sector gain through increased investment in road freight infrastructure.
Following recent meetings with the Mayors and General Managers of all 13 Local Government Areas in the Northern Inland, it was obvious that the condition of rural and regional roads was their top priority.
The Northern Inland contains some of the wealthiest and most productive agricultural land in the country yet primary producers and manufacturers have to rely on sub-standard roads to get their products to the marketplace. RDANI and the 13 Councils have joined forces and pooled funds to undertake a comprehensive study on the current state of the road infrastructure in the region and PEECE Pty Ltd, a highly respected company in transport and particularly rural and regional roads research, have been selected to do the project.
PEECE Pty Ltd will consult with Councils to identify individual needs at a Council level and will also liaise with key stakeholders across the region to determine the main issues that are being faced by various industries in the Northern Inland in relation to road freight infrastructure.
This study is the first step towards getting the state of roads in the Northern Inland up to the standards that are enjoyed in other areas. Working with all of our Councils in the Northern Inland will also give us a much larger voice so that the projects that get identified in the study have a better chance of being funded.
The ultimate aim of this project is to demonstrate to governments and the private sector that investment in rural and regional roads is not money down the drain, but rather a way in which we can improve our regional economy as a whole.
NBN Funding for the Northern Inland
Regional Australia Minister Simon Crean has announced that seven Regional Development Australia (RDA) committees have received funding to help develop strategies for the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) in their communities.
A total of $200,000 has been awarded to seven RDA committees in Stage One and Stage Two of the NBN rollout areas, to conduct development and implementation strategy studies, with the outcomes to be shared across the entire RDA network.
RDA Northern Inland has been awarded $33,000 to conduct regional information sessions, to develop stakeholder implementation strategies and an integrated digital regional plan.
Health and Wellbeing Programs
Bureau of Statistics figures put 605,000 Australian children in a position of financial disadvantage, meaning these children don't have the basics like a school bag, complete uniform or the schoolbooks they need to make the most of their education. They are often teased or left out by other students and because they don't fit in, they end up struggling at school, or failing altogether. For some, it can set up a pattern of underachievement that can literally last the rest of their lives.
Research has shown that supporting a child's education is one of the most effective ways to help a child break the cycle of disadvantage. The Learning for Life Sponsorship program run by The Smith Family allows you to sponsor an Australian child, with 100% of your donation being to directly benefit the child in three key ways:
Financial support to pay for basics like books, shoes and a complete school uniform, as well as course materials and extra-curricular activities like school excursions and outings
Teaming up a child with Learning for Life worker who offers encouragement and support with their schooling; links them to learning opportunities in their community, and helps them to fully participate in their education
Building an emotional connection and providing support to your sponsored child - time and again students tell us how motivated they are by the knowledge that someone out there (whom they will never meet) cares about them and their future
This program has already helped change the lives of over 33,000 Aussie kids last year...but so many more need help.
Further details are available on The Smith Family website.
Current Regional Issues
Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) has introduced a new section to its website that will outline current issues and hot topics that have a direct effect on the Northern Inland region and its residents and businesses.
This section of the website will contain informative articles, data and will cover a wide range of topics from the impact of mining on our communities to the importance of youth employment and everything in between.
The next topic available on the site is about the importance of growing local businesses and how business owners can go about expanding their markets. This article can be found at http://www.rdani.org.au/our-region/current-regional-issues/growing-businesses.php
This section of the website will be updated regularly and if you have any suggestions for a hot topic facing the region we’d love to hear it. Please send any suggestions you may have to email@example.com
Grants, Funding Opportunities and Tenders
As RDANI has access to many grants and funding opportunities, we have a Grants Portal on our website which can be found here http://www.rdani.org.au/our-region/grants-and-funding-opportunities.php. Also check out the Australian Government’s new GrantsLINK website where you can find government grants and assistance for individuals, businesses and communities at http://grants.myregion.gov.au/ .
Tendering is becoming a vital part of how many businesses in the Northern Inland operate on a day to day basis. RDANI would like to highlight the many sources of Tender information available.
Both state and federal governments often have projects open for tender. For more information on NSW State Government Tenders please go to https://tenders.nsw.gov.au for further information on Federal Government Tenders please go to www.tenders.gov.au
Commercial tenders are also becoming more popular. For more information on the commercial tendering process please go to www.tenderlink.com or www.tenders.com.au
The Industry Capability Network (ICN) creates opportunity for New South Wales and Australian industry.
If you are developing a supply chain and need a competitive local source of supply, ICN can help.
ICN bridges the information gap between buyers and sellers by advising on:
supply chain development
local industry capability and capacity
For more information please go to http://www.icn.org.au