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RDAF Keeps Delivering for Regional Australia

The Gillard Government's Minerals Resource Rent Tax has delivered the remaining three rounds of the Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF).

Announcing new guidelines and opening rounds three and four today, Regional Australia Minister Simon Crean said the Federal Government had improved RDAF in response to community feedback.

"Round three will see $50 million dedicated specifically to projects in small towns, while round four will distribute $175 million to support strategic infrastructure projects," Mr Crean said.

"Both rounds will be rolled out at the same time—so $225 million is available now for partnership projects right across Australia.

"We will also soon be announcing details of round five, which will confirm in full our commitment to delivering RDAF. It will mean all our commitments in relation to this program will be announced in advance of the next election.

"RDAF will continue to drive a cultural change in regional funding by focusing on priorities of persistence and projects that stack-up, partnership and leverage, and regional reach.

"This approach to regional funding has seen the $350 million committed in the first two RDAF rounds

leverage $1.2 billion in total project investment.

"The regions are determining 'what' is needed and the Federal Government is providing the 'how'."

Mr Crean said the Federal Government has improved the RDAF guidelines to make it easier to apply and broaden the sorts of projects which can be funded.

"Round three will directly address feedback from communities by targeting $50 million—in grants of between $50,000 and $500,000—for projects in towns with a population of 30,000 or less," he said.

"Round four will see $175 million allocated through grants of between $500,000 and $15 million to deliver priority regional infrastructure in partnership with funding from state and local governments, and the private sector.

"We will aim to allocate at least $40 million to arts and culture projects in rounds three and four—the amount provided to the sector in rounds one and two."

Mr Crean reaffirmed the Federal Government's commitment to partnership projects that provide an investment multiplier.

"The first two rounds of RDAF invested $350 million in 81 projects with a total leveraged value of $1.2 billion—that's a partnership multiplier of up to one to four," he said.

"If we achieve the same partnership multiplier in the final three rounds of RDAF, there is the potential to leverage more than $2 billion in total investment.

"Regional communities understand the benefits of joining the dots and building strong investment partnerships with the three levels of government, and in some cases, the private sector."

Mr Crean said it was important for projects unsuccessful in the first two rounds of RDAF to persist.

"More than half of the 46 projects successful in the second round missed out in the first round—but they persisted and got their project up," he said.

"Keep working with your RDA—it's the committee that decides which Expressions of Interest (EOI) are selected as priority projects to proceed full applications."

Application information:

  • the new guidelines will be available on the RDAF website from Thursday, 25 October 2012
  • rounds three and four will be open for EOIs from Thursday, 25 October 2012
  • applicants can submit one EOI for round three and one for round four—for different projects
  • the EOI process will close on Thursday, 6 December 2012.

For further details of the remaining rounds, revised guidelines and to access an EOI form, visit: http://www.regional.gov.au/regional/programs/rdaf.aspx.

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