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.

Nominations close Friday for the 2015 Regional Development Innovation Award

Nominations are now being taken for the 2015 Regional Development Innovation Awards and will close this Friday 29 May.

The Awards aim to recognise and showcase outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations working to develop sustainable economies across Regional Australia.Regional Development Awards

The award categories are:

To submit a nomination simply complete the online form including the following:

  • A brief overall description of your project, for use in the Conference Proceedings and other promotional material
  • 300-words for each criterion
  • All selection criteria to be addressed as appropriate to the project – if a criterion is not relevant to the project state ‘not applicable’

The 2015 Regional Development Innovation Awards will be presented at the Australian Regional Development Conference Dinner on Wednesday 26 August 2015 at the Commercial Club Albury.

To submit your nomination please visit the website here.

Winners for of the 2014 Regional Development Innovation Awards 

Economic Development Award – Proudly sponsored by The Regional Development Company

Mr Marcus Westbury, Renew Newcastle  Project: Renew Newcastle

Highly Commended – Mr Will Gerhard, Whitehorse City Council & Ms Julia Fenech, Wodonga Council

Planning and Building Award

Mr Robert Hunt, Liverpool Plains Shire Council  Project: Quipolly Dam Upgrade

Highly Commended – Mr Stephen Smith, Deicke Richards

Environment and Sustainability Award

Ms Samantha Smith, Future Proofing Geelong  Project: Future Proofing Geelong Program

Highly Commended – Mr Adam Gray, Local Government Association of SA

Community Development Award – Proudly sponsored by Charles Sturt University

Ms Alana Johnson, Voices for Indi Inc  Project: Voices for Indi

Highly Commended – Mrs Cherelle Brooke, Coffs Harbour City Council


Call for Abstracts close Friday for Australian Regional Development Conference

ARDCThere are only 4 days before the Call for Abstracts close for the Australian Regional Development Conference.

The Conference will be held at the Commercial Club Albury on the 26– 27 August 2015 with optional workshops on Friday 28 August 2015.

The theme this year, Redefining the Future of Regional Australia, will explore challenges and opportunities both now and in the future.

Abstract submissions are sought for the below streams:

• Sustainability / Renewables
• Population Movements
• Community Development
• Government Policy
• Innovation
• Infrastructure
• Cultural Tourism / Regional Tourism Development
• Free Trade Agreements
• Transport and Logistics
• NBN / Broadband Communication
• Banking / Finance

Last year, the Conference Program featured over 50 interactive and informative sessions, Keynote presentations, optional workshops, a display of poster presentations and a trade display.

Don’t miss your chance to be a part of the 2015 Australian Regional Development Conference.

For further information on abstract submission or the Conference, please visit the website here.

Sylvia Burbery, MARS Petcare Australia at ARDC

Sylvia Burbery, General Manager, MARS Petcare Australia will be presenting at the Australian Regional Development Conference.

Sylvia BurberyMs Sylvia Burbery, General Manager, MARS Petcare Australia

Sylvia Burbery is General Manager of Mars Petcare Australia/NZ, responsible for delivering profitable growth and leading all aspects of the business operations for a team of approximately 1000 associates, four manufacturing sites, two sales offices and more than 14 well-loved and trusted brands.

Sylvia started her career with Mars Incorporated in 1994 and worked in a number of roles across Sales and HR in New Zealand and the US including developing the framework for a significant transition in the US business.

In 2005 she returned to New Zealand as Managing Director of the New Zealand business, where she lead a significant turn-around in the business results and culture, which saw Mars New Zealand win the JRA Best Places to Work award.  In 2009, she moved into her current role as Managing Director for the Mars Petcare business in Australia.

Sylvia gained an MBA with distinction from Massey University in 1999. She has two adult children, is passionate about travel, and is actively involved in her local community.

Alexandra Gartmann at Regional Development Conference

Alexandra Gartmann – CEO, Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal will be presenting at the Australian Regional Development Conference.

Alexandra’s presentation will be on the Link between philanthropy and community development in rural and regional Australia

Alexandra Gartman

Alexandra is passionate about rural communities and creating opportunities for each community to prosper. Having lived in small communities in NSW, WA and Victoria, she is familiar with the challenges and opportunities.

She joined FRRR as Chief Executive Officer in April 2011. A charitable foundation based on a partnership between philanthropy, community, government and business, FRRR aims to create innovative funding mechanisms and organisational structures which will support communities to respond positively to change and build social and economic wealth in rural, regional and remote Australia.

Prior to this role, she was CEO of the Birchip Cropping Group (BCG), a not-for-profit community organisation focused on improving the production and social outcomes for rural farming communities.

Alexandra holds a number of other roles, including serving on the National Rural Advisory Council, the Victorian Women in Primary Industries Advisory Panel, Chair of the CSIRO Sustainable Agriculture Flagship Advisory Council, a Board member of the Rural Finance Corporation, on the Australian Landcare Council, and the LaTrobe University Bendigo Regional Advisory Board. She has been a member of the Victorian Floods Disaster Appeal Fund, the Federal Regional Women’s Advisory Council and the Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee.