Message from the Executive Officer – Julia Andrews

Julia Andrews Executive Officer RDA Central WestHaving just returned from a highly productive work trip to China investigating E-commerce pathways and opportunities for our regional SMEs (watch this space – a detailed toolkit and free masterclass will be held on this subject in March 2018! Register interest here), I have to say, there is no place like home! China is an exciting culture and economy, but our significant comparative advantage here in regional NSW, and indeed across Australia, is our quality of lifestyle, our ample space and our clean, green environment. We have much to learn and gain from China, especially in the brave new world of E-Commerce, but we also have much to offer.

Although Christmas holidays are fast approaching, the first few weeks of December will be very busy here in the RDA Central West Office, with the team assisting our regional councils, community groups and NFPs with their applications for the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Fund Round 2, which closes on Tues 19 December.

BBRF funding is for projects which create jobs, drive economic growth and build strong regional communities into the future. There are two steams for BBRF funding;

  • Infrastructure Projects Stream will support projects which involve the construction of new infrastructure, or the upgrade or extension of existing infrastructure that provide economic and social benefit to regional and remote areas.
  • Community Investments Stream will fund the following community activities, new or expanded local events, strategic regional plans, and leadership and capability strengthening activities. These projects will deliver economic and social benefits to regional and remote communities. Infrastructure projects are not eligible for the Community Investments Stream.

Successful Round 1 projects in Central West NSW included;

  • Bathurst Regional Council’s Velocity Park
  • House with No Steps rebuild of the Aussie Biscuit Factory in Forbes
  • Housing Plus to build the Orange Crisis Centre for women and children
  • an upgrade of the Tottenham Pool Multipurpose Facilities
  • the Grenfell Health Hub
  • Central West Farming Systems’ Agricultural Marking Skills Audit
  • an Agricultural Strategic Plan for the Forbes Shire.

Some really interesting projects were funded in other parts of Australia such as a short film festival including locally produced films and workshops in Victoria, and an asset acquisition strategy to store event production and management equipment in Tasmania.

We encourage councils, organisations and not-for-profit organisations to contact us if you have a great project. If it doesn’t fit the BBRF criteria, it may fit another grant, and we can help you identify the right one. But remember, project applications take time and require planning, budgeting, possible co-funding and letters of support.

Go to the RDA Central West website’s Grant and Funding page here for more information, and call our office on 63691600 to speak to one of our staff members.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support of RDA Central West this year. We may be a small not-for-profit organisation, but our grass roots regional experience, commitment and track-record of delivery of outcomes for this region is very strong. My amazing team (thank you Amelia and Stacey!) and I, and the RDA Central West Board, look forward to continuing to work with all levels of government, industry, business and community groups to support the economic growth and development of Central West NSW in 2018.

Merry Christmas!