In This Issue:
RDA Northern Inland would like to remind Local Councils and eligible not‐for‐profit organisations to submit Expressions of Interest (EOIs) by December 6th for projects under Rounds Three and Four of the Regional Development Australia Fund (RDA Fund) worth $225 million. The RDA Fund is for infrastructure which addresses identified priorities and that relates to or supports the economy, the community, arts and culture or sport and recreation.
Our committee will review EOIs from all potential applicants across the region and select five priority projects for Round Three and three priority projects for Round Four to proceed to full application. When prioritising projects, the Federal Government have asked RDA committees to take into account regional priorities, the level of community support for the project, the impact of the project on the region and neighbouring regions, and its readiness to proceed.
We know there are many worthwhile projects out there that will contribute to the advancement of our region and we look forward to receiving a good mix of EOIs.
Mal Peters, Chair
Analogue TV Signals Switched Off In The Northern Inland
Tuesday the 27th of November marked a technological milestone in the Northern Inland as analogue TV signals are permanently switched off to make way for digital-only free-to-air TV. Residents will need to be digital ready to continue watching their favourite TV channels.
"This is an exciting day for residents of Northern Inland NSW, as not only will Digital TV provide an increased total of 16 channels, but many people who had variable reception with analogue signals will now receive the same quality digital television as those in metropolitan areas," said Nathan Axelsson, Executive Officer for RDA-NI.
“Analogue TV was switched off at 9am on Tuesday morning and we celebrated with a countdown at the Tamworth Regional Council Chamber with representatives from the local television stations.
"With funding from the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, RDANI have supported two Digital Switchover Liaison Officers who have assisted communities in converting across to digital. We feel confident that the work they have done has made the transition to Digital TV a smooth one,” Mr Axelsson said.
For more information about the switch to digital-only TV in Northern NSW or help to get digital ready, visit the Digital Ready website at www.digitalready.gov.au or call the Digital Ready Information Line on 1800 20 10 13.
Research Data Now Available Through Regional Australia Institute
RAI's Regional Knowledge Base - an online data base of the 1,500 most important regional research reports and 281 data sets on regional Australia - is now available online for anyone involved in regional development to use.
The Regional Knowledge Base makes it easy to access the knowledge already collected on regional issues. It will be a valuable tool for anyone involved in regional development issues. RAI will maintain this resource over time so that it is no longer so difficult to access the diversity of research on regional issues.
RAI have also released two reports which outline the findings of their Stocktake of Regional Research project. This includes a gap analysis of current research and also a summary of 50 of the most influential pieces of research from the last decade.
A key message from this work is that as a collective, we need to focus new research on opportunities for regional growth and development that exist throughout regional Australia. RAI is considering how they can do that in our research program. RAI would value your thoughts on ideas which you can now share via their new Pitch an Idea space for sharing and discussing new regional research concepts.
Targeted Assistance For Basin Communities
Regional Australia Minister Simon Crean last week announced Murray-Darling Basin communities will share in $100 million of Federal Government funding for economic diversification projects to assist them adjust to a more sustainable water future.
Mr Crean said the Murray-Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Program supported the government's Murray-Darling Basin Plan and will ensure Basin communities can strengthen their economic base and support the long-term viability of our rivers and regions.
"This program will help Basin communities meet the challenge of living in a water-constrained environment by funding innovative, community driven projects that will stimulate employment and regional growth," Mr Crean said.
"By supporting economic diversification in the Murray-Darling Basin region we are enabling communities to build on their local knowledge and local solutions to transform their comparative advantage into competitive advantage."
Mr Crean said that Basin communities understood the importance of learning how to live in a water-constrained environment.
"The Basin is full of communities and industries working hard to develop creative, long term solutions as they move towards a more sustainable future," Mr Crean said.
"This program builds on the existing work Basin communities have been undertaking in partnership with the Federal Government and Regional Development Australia (RDA) committees since last November to identify potential projects that will diversify their skills and economic base."
Mr Crean said the Federal Government will consult with Basin State governments on the finer details of this program in the coming weeks with a plan to make program funding open for application in early 2013.
"Partnerships are key to ensuring Basin communities continue to thrive now and into the future," Mr Crean said.
"This program is about working with the communities in each State to join the dots and achieve practical solutions that stack up."
The next phase of the Murray-Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Program will run as a competitive grants process and will have a strong focus on linking regional benefits to achieve economic diversification outcomes through leveraged partnerships.
The $100 million for the Murray-Darling Basin Regional Diversification Program will be met from existing funding in the Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure Program.
For further information visit www.mdba.gov.au.
Armidale, Nundle and Werris Creek Win Tidy Towns Awards
With its rich heritage, natural beauty, and commitment to sustainability and environmental protection, Armidale was the winner of the 2012 Keep Australia Beautiful NSW Overall Tidy Towns, Sustainable Communities Award. Also recognised for their efforts, Nundle and Werris Creek took out first place for their population categories, while Tamworth achieved third place in their category.
The Tidy Towns program recognised Armidale’s dedication to the philosophy of community development, volunteering, cooperation and commitment to environmental wellbeing are backed with obvious civic pride.
Armidale will now vie for the title of National Overall Tidy Towns Sustainable Communities Winner at the Keep Australia Beautiful National Awards in May 2013, and will be the hosts of the NSW awards in 2013.
Energy Efficiency Master Class
Alertforce are running a 2 day Government-funded Energy Efficiency Master Class in Tamworth on the 10th and 11th of December. The enrolment fee is $231 and it is a two day course focusing on Energy efficiency.
Why you should undertake this course?
Energy costs are on the rise with projected forecasts in the order of 30%-50% over the next 2 years.
Identifying energy efficiency opportunities in the workplace and home are critical in avoiding the mounting cost pressures that rising energy prices will bring.
Energy efficiency offers businesses numerous opportunities to improve operational and financial performance by mitigating against energy risks including price increases and exposure to a carbon price.
Energy efficiency expertise is a part of the new generation of green skills that form part of the new mix of green-collar jobs transforming the Australian labour market on which new job opportunities and careers will be built.
Day 1 - Demand Efficiencies and Barriers
- Global and Australian energy consumption in context
- Policy and Regulatory Response
- Energy Efficiency and Carbon Reduction Link
- Demand Efficiency - Behavioural Changes
- Behavioural Change Case Studies
- Barriers to Energy Efficiency
- Demand Efficiency - Infrastructure Changes
- Infrastructure Change Case Studies
- Power Factor Correction
- Lighting - demonstration
- Green Procurement
Day 2 - Supply Efficiencies and Business Case
- What is Supply Efficiency
- Forms of Renewable Energy
- Solar PV Installation Case Study
- Co-Generation - including case study
- Financial Evaluation and Performance Measures
- Performance Management - Targets and Continuous Improvement
- Prioritising Projects - Developing an Energy Efficiency Roadmap
- Co-Benefits of Energy Efficiency Initiatives
To register, go to: http://alertforce.com.au/ecommerce/mycart.php?course_id=130
2013 Business Summit To be Held In Tamworth
It has never been more important for leaders of regional business to make the right decisions about people, strategy and execution for the future growth and success of their business. In today’s fast-paced digital age, and the rate at which things are changing, businesses need to be able to act quickly and adapt as new opportunities or obstacles present themselves. Many business owners often don’t have the time to further their own professional development, and can be overwhelmed by how quickly things have changed.
The 2013 Business Summit provides regional businesses of all sizes and industries the opportunity to listen and interact with business experts and thinkers. At the summit, there will be some of the greatest minds in business who are developing and defining the approaches you need to dominate in your market and make it easier to do business.
Tickets for the 2013 Business Summit will be held in Tamworth over two days on the 12th and 13th of March 2013. Tickets are now on sale, with early purchase discounts available. Further information is available through their website, www.businesssummit.com.au.
New Grants and Funding Opportunities
Local Support Program by Essential Energy
Local Support (previously referred to as regional sponsorships) is Essential Energy’s support program aimed to support short term programs, initiatives, events, activities or fundraisers that support the general community.
Indigenous Culture Funding
More than $26 million is up for grabs for community groups to showcase the best of Australia's Indigenous culture, languages and visual arts. Funding is available through the following programs:
Indigenous Culture Support which helps to maintain Indigenous culture through community involvement, assists the transmission of knowledge and skills across generations and develops and supports new forms of cultural expression.
Indigenous Languages Support which provides funding for the maintenance and revival of Australia's Indigenous languages.
Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support which provides funding for Indigenous art centres and industry service organisations.
The 2013–14 funding round closes to applications at 11.59 pm AEDST on 1 February 2013.
RAS Foundation 2013 Community Futures Grant
The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) Foundation is giving young people who live in rural NSW the chance to secure a $25,000 grant to deliver a new and innovative community project. Submissions will be judged on several criteria including innovation, impact on the community and plans for implementation. Applicants must identify an existing community organisation or group they would partner with to deliver their project. Eligible entrants must be 35 or under on 1 May 2013 and projects must be located in rural or regional NSW.
Aged Care Multidisciplinary Care Coordination and Advisory Service Program
The Better Health Care Connections: Aged Care Multidisciplinary Care Coordination and Advisory Service Program will provide $9.969 million over five years to support older Australians with complex health needs who would benefit from increased access to multidisciplinary teams of health professional to coordinate care and treatment.
Indigenous Broadcasting Program
The Indigenous Broadcasting Program (IBP) provides funding to support Indigenous community radio broadcasting in remote, regional and urban areas of Australia. Funding supports the operational costs of Indigenous owned and controlled community radio broadcasting services, peak bodies and training. Funding is also provided to generate and broadcast content and to meet some capital expenses associated with delivering Indigenous radio services.
Targeted Community care (Mental Health) Program
Mental Health Respite: Carer Support
Community organisations across Australia can apply for Australian Government funding to provide support services for carers of people with mental illness to assist them to maintain their caring roles and improve their own wellbeing.
Personal Helpers and Mentors
Community organisations across Australia can apply for Australian Government funding to employ new workers to support people with mental illness, including helping those on income support find and keep a job.