Regional Development Australia Murray eNewsletter
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December 2015


Merry Christmas from the RDA Murray Team 

We wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year!

The Albury and Deniliquin offices of RDA Murray will be closed from 5:00pm Wednesday 23  December 2015 and will reopen 9:00am Monday 4 January 2016.  

See you all in 2016!

Christmas Greetings from the Chair

It’s been a busy month. We had the opportunity to attend the NSW RDA Chairs and Executive Officers meeting in Sydney early this month. It was encouraging and enlightening. We had a range of presentations from the Department of Industry which gave us a clear story about the place of RDA and regional development. Gary and I also caught up with The Hon. John Barilaro MP- Minister for Regional Development, Skills and Small Business and Karen Borg who is the new CEO Jobs for NSW.
The Minister is passionate about regional development and ready to listen. It was an empowering meeting and we have work to take back to him in the New Year. We had the opportunity to discuss ideas that RDA Murray had developed but also ideas that have been given to us by our Mayors and General Managers from Local Government. 
Karen Borg is an inspiring woman who is from industry and understands the issues surrounding running businesses and creating jobs. She has a board of industry people who will assist in creating the strategies moving forward. We also have homework to do for Karen! It was great to have such open and positive meetings.
It was also made clear that RDA funding is in the budget and they are well supported by the Minister and the State Government. Once the models for Joint Organisations of Councils are finalised RDA will have an important role in supporting them.
The next round of the National Stronger Regions Fund has been announced and we will be running some workshops to assist in writing up current ideas but also in developing some regionally significant projects. The first workshop will be in Jerilderie on 29 January 2016.
We wish you all a safe and happy Christmas and New Year and thank you for your support and input this year past.
I would also like to say thanks to Sushama, Johnson, Brooke and Gary for their great work and assistance this year.


Round Three of National Stronger Regions Fund will open in January

Round Three of the National Stronger Regions Fund will open for applications on 15 January 2016. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said Round Three will open to submissions from local governments and incorporated not-for-profits for priority infrastructure projects in regional communities from 15 January 2016 until 15 March 2016.

“As in previous Rounds, I encourage applicants to put forward projects that demonstrate strong economic outcomes and address disadvantage, to give themselves the best opportunity for success,” Mr Truss said.

“Grants must be between $20,000 and $10 million and grant funding must be matched in cash on at least a dollar-for-dollar basis except for those applicants in remote and very remote locations. For Round Three these applicants need to contribute at least one dollar for every three dollars of NSRF funding sought.

“Across the first two Rounds, the Australian Government approved $505 million to fund 162 projects across the nation, including $293 million for 111 projects announced on Monday.

“Funding is targeted to ensure successful projects will deliver strong outcomes for local communities.”

For the media release and further information, visit RDA Murray

$14 million available for Murray-Darling growth

NSW Murray-Darling communities have a second opportunity to secure funding for their region to create more jobs and to strengthen and diversify their economies.
The Australian and NSW governments have announced the latest round of the Murray-Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Program, with over $14 million in funding available to communities in NSW most impacted by the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
Two funding streams have been created for projects with the potential to drive significant job outcomes, or to support small businesses, small capability building projects and economic development projects that support economic diversification.
The $14 million being made available includes $4.1 million under the Energise Enterprise fund for small businesses and capability building projects. This fund will support $25,000 one-off grants or $40,000 matched grants available for projects that encourage businesses to develop skills or focus on small community economic development projects.
“This funding will provide an additional pathway for businesses to work with local councils and not-for-profits to fund projects that diversify, strengthen and build resilience in their local economies,” said Minister for Regional Development John Barilaro.
Information and grant writing workshops are being held over the next two weeks in four Murray-Darling basin communities, while funding guidelines have also been released.

Work visa scams. Don't pay the price

On 14 December 2015, new criminal and civil penalties and visa cancellation provisions were introduced as part of a 'payment for visas' framework that allows for sanctions to be imposed on a person who asks for, receives, offers or provides a benefit in return for visa sponsorship or employment (that requires visa sponsorship).  

'Payment for visas' conduct is considered unacceptable by the Australian Government as it undermines the integrity of the skilled work programmes, which are designed to address genuine skill shortages in the Australian labour market by making employees available from outside Australia.

It is not acceptable for sponsors, nominators, employers or other third parties to make a personal gain from their position in a 'payment for visas' arrangement, nor is it acceptable for current or prospective visa holders to obtain permanent residence in Australia, or have the opportunity to work in Australia by providing a benefit to an employer for a job.

To further strengthen this framework, sponsors, nominators and visa applicants will be required to, as part of the application process, state whether or not they have actively participated in conduct that contravenes the new 'payment for visas' laws.

What is a scam?
A scam is an attempt to intentionally mislead people to steal money, property, or personal information, or to dishonestly obtain something else of value.

Australian Government is aware that criminals around the world and in Australia use scams with false promises of work and permanent residence in Australia as a way to exploit or steal money from people.

Australian Government is committed to educating people about the correct processes for applying to live and work in Australia and to assist them to protect themselves from migration fraud and scams. It is important that you understand your rights and your employer's obligations to ensure you are protecting yourself.

Most people follow the appropriate and lawful process in meeting visa and sponsorship requirements, a minority do not. We undertake a range of measures to identify those who are engaging in fraudulent activities and have penalties in place to deal with visa holders and sponsors who are found to be doing the wrong thing.

For more information visit the Department of Immigration and Border Protection

National Stronger Regions Fund delivers $293 million for communities

The Australian Government has announced $293 million to fund 111 projects to help deliver economic benefits to communities around Australia through Round Two of the National Stronger Regions Fund.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the second round of the programme had seen an increase in the number of applications, with 513 applications seeking $1.5 billion in funding.

“The strong growth in applications demonstrates a genuine appreciation of the programme by communities across the nation. The Fund maintains a very strong level of support from not for profit organisations and local governments,” Mr Truss said.

“This round of the programme was very competitive and the standard of applications was higher than the previous round.

“Clearly, applicants have thought seriously about how well their project addresses the objectives of the Fund. Round Two also had $25 million quarantined for projects seeking funding of $1 million or less, so smaller projects are well represented amongst the successful applicants.

“As a result, double the number of projects are being funded under Round Two than Round One which is great news for communities across the nation.”

Mr Truss said the 111 projects selected for Round Two funding brought the total number of National Stronger Regions Fund projects to 162.

“These projects bring the total amount of Australian Government investment approved to date under the Fund to $505 million,” he said.

Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said he was delighted to see such a strong response from applicants again in Round Two which will deliver great new gains for communities.

For the full Media Release visit RDA Murray

The National Stronger Regions Fund is delivering $1 billion over five years to promote economic growth and address disadvantage.

More on the National Stronger Regions Fund, including a full list of successful Round Two projects and details on the application process, is available online at

New Grants and Funding

Industry Skills Fund - Youth Stream

Application Closes: 30 June 2016

The Industry Skills Fund - Youth Stream includes two pilot programmes, Training for Employment Scholarships and Youth Engagement Pathways, which will address youth unemployment by supporting businesses to employ more young people; and community organisations to help young people return to school, start vocational training or move into work.


The two pilot programmes; Training for Employment Scholarships and Youth Employment Pathways, are available until 29 February 2016 in selected regional areas and areas of high youth unemployment.

  • Training for Employment Scholarships supports training that meets the needs of your business and assists young people who are ready for employment, but require further training.

    If your business has less than 200 employees, and you hire an unemployed person aged 18 to 24 years after 1 March 2015, you may be eligible for funding of up to $7 500 for the cost of up to 26 weeks job specific training.

  • Youth Employment Pathways supports community organisations assist disengaged young people, aged 15 to 18 years, to get back into school, start vocational training, or move into work.

    Community service organisations may be eligible for financial support to purchase or provide services to meet individuals’ needs such as intensive case management, job search, mentoring and other services relevant to young people.


Who is eligible to apply?

  • Training for Employment Scholarships - Australian businesses are able to apply for funding if they are solvent, have less than 200 employees, and hired an unemployed person aged 18 to 24 years after 1 March 2015. Your business must also have an Australian Business Number, be located in one or more of the target regions and not be named by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency as an organisation that has not complied with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth).
  • Youth Employment Pathways - Community Service Organisation are able to apply for funding if they operate in one or more of the target regions, have at least two years experience working with at-risk and/or disengaged young people; and have proven linkages with schools, training providers, employers and other youth related services.

Who is eligible to participate?

  • Training for Employment Scholarships - If you are aged between 18 and 24 years, Training for Employment Scholarships can help you access training to get the skills and qualifications needed to do your new job, through your employer.
  • Youth Employment Pathways - If you are aged 15 to 18 years and not engaged in school or work, Youth Employment Pathways can help you to get back into school, find a job or get into training. You may be able to access support and training through your participating local community service organisation.
Contact Details
Industry Skills Fund
Phone: 13 28 46

NSW Community Safety Fund

Application Closes: 22 January 2016


NSW Community Safety Fund​ to provide funding for community safety initiatives which will reduce crime and stamp out anti-social behaviour.


The NSW Department of Justice is administering this significant NSW Government grants program which provides $10 million over four years to improve community safety across NSW.

Applications for up to $250,000 are invited for innovative projects designed to prevent crime and fear of crime and help people feel safe and proud of their community. Non-government organisations, community groups, chambers of commerce and businesses across NSW can apply for funding for capital works/infrastructure and service delivery projects which will:

  • address local crime hot spots
  • address anti-social behaviour in communities
  • promote safer and inclusive use of public space; and
  • promote collaborative approaches to community safety, crime reduction, prevention and detection initiatives.

The following groups are eligible to apply for funding under the NSW Community Safety Fund 2015/16 guidelines:

  • community groups;
  • non-government organisations;
  • not-for-profit organisations;
  • chambers of commerce; and
  • businesses seeking funding for projects that demonstrate community benefit.
Contact Details
Website: NSW Community Safety Fund​
Phone: 02 8688 8666

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