Warwick Powell, Sister City Partners presents on Innovative Economic Institutions

Warwick Powell - photo

Warwick Powell, Founder and Chairman, Sister City Partners

Warwick Powell, Founder and Chairman, Sister City Partners will outline innovative economic institutions as a Keynote Speaker at the 3rd Australian Regional Development Conference Participation and Progress to be held in Canberra on 5 – 6 September 2016.

His presentation entitled “Moving beyond the Mendicant Economy Model: Innovating New Regional Economic Institutions and Architectures” proposes to frame the need for regional innovation against an analytics of ‘hollowing out’, in which regional Australia has for decades experienced a progressing dissipation of finance capital, energetic people and know-how.

The hollowing out of regional capital institutions over the past 35 years has exposed regional Australia increasingly to the vicissitudes of Government fiscal proclivities. This has created a development model that he has characterised as the ‘mendicant economy’. Powell proposes that this model is falling apart at the seams.

Warwick Powell is founder and chairman of Sister City Partners Ltd, a regional not-for-profit investment banking enterprise. He is a director of a number of companies in Australia and Hong Kong involved in investment banking, big data analytics, renewable energy and agribusiness services.

He is a recognised creative thinker in economic, social and enterprise development with 20 years’ experience in identifying and assessing social and economic impacts across a broad range of public policy propositions and development activities and initiatives. His expertise in this arena is reflected in being invited to deliver a complete 13-week course on ‘creativity, innovation and leadership in the 21st century’ for James Cook University’s MBA program.

The 3rd Australian Regional Development Conference; Participation and Progress will be held in Canberra on 5 – 6 September 2016 to register for the conference CLICK HERE.

Early bird closes on 25th July so be quick to receive a discounted rate.

The conference explores opportunities for innovation in regional Australia. With its rich resources, diversity, and value, regional Australia is the catalyst for the future.

Addressing issues such as sustainable development, environmental sustainability, land use, community development, investment, agribusiness and innovation it is an opportunity not to be missed.

Fair Go campaign wins back our funding

fiona nashA Federal fund for regions that pumped millions of dollars into capital cities will be restructured to target communities outside Australia’s major hubs

In a major victory for the Fair Go for Regional Australia campaign, the National Stronger Regions Fund will no longer be allowed to give money to major cities.

Just weeks ago we revealed nearly $50 million from the fund, touted as a victory for regional Australia, was being spent in suburbs in major capital cities.

Projects within 3km of the CBD in Brisbane were funded by the first two rounds of the program while $33 million was spent on Melbourne proposals, including a water park.

But Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash will today pledge to improve the scheme she inherited, transforming it into the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF).

“As Regional Development Minister, my vision is to help build the regional communities our children and grandchildren either want to stay in or come back to,” Ms Nash said.

“We don’t want to lose the talents of our young people to the cities, and creating regional, rural and remote communities they’d love to live in is one way to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

The new scheme will now only go towards projects outside capital cities and will target two streams, infrastructure projects and community investments.

About $505 million was spent on the first two rounds of the old fund, with the remaining cash from the $1 billion scheme to run across the new Building Better Regions Fund.

The program is expected to run until 2020, with the potential to be extended after that.

Proposals in regional capitals like Darwin and Hobart will still be eligible for funding while those in major metropolitan areas such as Sydney or Melbourne will not.

Ms Nash said the new scheme would have a fairer assessment process, sorting proposals into categories based on size.

“It’s very hard for smaller and more remote community and volunteer groups or small councils to compete for funding against big capital city councils who have the ability to employ consultants to write grant applications,” she said.

“It also makes sense to assess small projects against small projects, medium-sized projects against medium-sized, and major projects against major projects. A $500,000 project should not be competing with a $20 million project for funding.

“We will introduce three infrastructure project categories to ensure projects of a similar size will be ranked against each other and small projects will not compete with major projects for funding.”

Entries for the third round of old funding scheme closed in June, with regional projects competing with major proposals in metropolitan areas.

Applications submitted included funding for new Brisbane Broncos and Brisbane Lions facilities as well as a Melbourne Innovation Centre in the inner-city suburb of Alphington in the Victorian capital. To read more click here.

The 3rd Australian Regional Development Conference; Participation and Progress will be held in Canberra on 5 – 6 September 2016 to register for the conference CLICK HERE.

The conference explores opportunities for innovation in regional Australia. With its rich resources, diversity, and value, regional Australia is the catalyst for the future.

Addressing issues such as sustainable development, environmental sustainability, land use, community development, investment, agribusiness and innovation it is an opportunity not to be missed.

RDF to create more than $900m in economic activity this year

sundrop farm1The State Government’s Regional Development Fund will result in a $933 million contribution to the South Australian economy this year and create 416 ongoing jobs, a report released yesterday says.

The government, commissioned from Ernst & Young by the Government, says the $33 million in contestable grants awarded in rounds one and two of the grants program, which started in 2014, will result in a direct impact of $426 million in output this year and $507 million in indirect output.

Over the next seven years the impact was estimated at $5.6 billion, however this figure is based on the assumption that there are no changes to the structure of the economy.

Projects supported by the program include $6 million for Sundrops Farms’ 200,000sq/m greenhouse project at Port Augusta which harnesses solar power to grow tomatoes, and $2.5 million for a $25.4 million beef boning facility developed by Thomas Foods International.

“The impacts of the RDF reach far across South Australia, with direct and indirect job creation, increased economic activity, and greater investment bringing confidence and growth to local communities,’’ Mr Brock said.

“The State Government is committed to building stronger regions because we know they are the drivers of our future economic growth, contributing to every priority in the State’s Economic Plan.’’

Applications for Round 3 of the RDF are currently being assessed. To read more click here.

The 3rd Australian Regional Development Conference; Participation and Progress will be held in Canberra on 5 – 6 September 2016 to register for the conference CLICK HERE.

The conference explores opportunities for innovation in regional Australia. With its rich resources, diversity, and value, regional Australia is the catalyst for the future.

Addressing issues such as sustainable development, environmental sustainability, land use, community development, investment, agribusiness and innovation it is an opportunity not to be missed.

Speaker opportunity

There is still an opportunity to speak at the Conference.  If you would like to speak at the Conference you are invited to submit a 300 word abstract speaking within regional development on attracting business success, employment, infrastructure, health aged care and more.

CLICK HERE to submit an abstract. Abstracts close 9th June 2016.

Speaker Opportunity: Final Chance to Speak at The Regional Development Conference

regional australia

The 3rd Australian Regional Development Conference; Planning, Participation and Progress will be held in Canberra on 5 – 6 September 2016.

There is an opportunity to take to the platform and have your say on issues such as sustainable development, environmental sustainability, land use, community development, investment, agribusiness and innovation.

Individuals or organisations interested in speaking are invited to submit a 300 word abstract outlining the aims, contents and conclusions of their presentation focusing on the way forward for regional Australia.

To submit an abstract CLICK HERE. Abstract submissions close on Thursday 9 June 2016.

Do you have a regional success story?

Help support regional areas at a grass roots level to ensure they remain sustainable. Speak on your business success, employment, infrastructure, health, aged care and more.

Abstract submissions are welcome on the following topics;

  • Agribusiness
  • Community Development
  • Digital Economies
  • Employment
  • Innovation
  • Investment
  • Land use planning
  • Logistics
  • Population Dynamics
  • Regional Tourism Development
  • Regional Environmental Sustainability
  • Renewable Energies
  • Sustainable Development and Urban Planning
  • Water

With program content to include an extensive range of topics from Keynote Presenters, Concurrent Sessions, Case Studies and Poster Presentations, this is a Conference for planners, local Councils, Government, business, NGO, community organisations, academics and professionals with an interest in regional sustainability.

The conference is an initiative of the Association for Sustainability in Business Inc., a non-Government not-for-profit organisation.

The conference explores opportunities for innovation in regional Australia. With its rich resources, diversity, and value, regional Australia is the catalyst for the future.

CLICK HERE to submit an abstract today and take part in in the discussion on regional development in Australia.

Ties to State Government remain a problem for regional commissions

wendy duncan regional commissionsA WA Nationals MP says ties to the State Government have ‘hamstrung’ the nine commissions responsible for developing regional Western Australia.

Kalgoorlie MP Wendy Duncan made the concession during this week’s Kalgoorlie Futures Forum, following an address from Geelong Region Alliance chief executive Elaine Carbines.

With Ms Carbines highlighting the organisation’s independence as a key factor in its success, Ms Duncan said it provided a solid example for WA to follow.

“At the moment, the commissions are a bit hamstrung, because they are answerable to the (Regional Development) Department and Minister,” Ms Duncan said.

“Instead of having a bit more independence, and the ability to thump the table.”

While officially listed as “independent partners” of the Department of Regional Development, the commissions for the state’s nine geographic regions are wholly funded by the State Government and answer to Regional Development Minister Terry Redman.

In contrast, the G21 group is an independent company representing the interests of the City of Greater Geelong and four surrounding councils.

Concerns at the convoluted nature of the application process prompted Mr Redman to boost the number of full-time staff when the blueprint was finally launched this year.

“My message to those organisations would be finding a way to work together,” Ms Carbines said.

“While you’ve got disparate groups who all have their own agenda, politicians like that because they don’t have to do anything — it’s just a fight at the local level.”

Ms Duncan said a state government review into regional development which she chaired in 2010 had previously identified the need for an overarching, independent body.

“There was huge backlash to that idea, because they thought it was centralising regional development,” she said.

“But that is what’s missing: an independent authority, bringing together and co-ordinating what the Regional Development Commissions are wanting to achieve.” To read more click here.

The 3rd Australian Regional Development Conference; Participation and Progress will be held in Canberra on 5 – 6 September 2016.

The conference explores opportunities for innovation in regional Australia. With its rich resources, diversity, and value, regional Australia is the catalyst for the future.

Addressing issues such as sustainable development, environmental sustainability, land use, community development, investment, agribusiness and innovation it is an opportunity not to be missed.

To register for the conference CLICK HERE.