CEO Update Aug 2015


CEO Update Aug 2015

Well spring has officially sprung, and it’s great to see some well-timed rain falling across many parts of the region. With fresh growth happening as a result, it’s time for us to welcome some fresh growth of our own with the announcement of our new committee of 10. We are excited about the experience and knowledge that they will bring to our RDA Orana team.

We also welcome our new Project Officer, Nicole who is doing some great work in the emerging carbon space which has already had significant economic benefit to this region (in excess of $300m this year). The announcement of the 2nd auction date for the Emissions Reduction Fund has stimulated discussion about how Orana businesses can make real an aggregated bid. There have also been valuable talks with industry about other ways to take advantage of sustainable carbon and energy use, such as the NSW Government’s Energy Savings Scheme and Federal Government’s Renewable Energy Target. You can read more about these opportunities here.

Chair John Walkom, Deputy Chair Matt Fuller and I recently attended the RDA National Forum in Canberra. It was a great opportunity for leaders in regional development to discuss ways of increasing growth and prosperity across Australia's diverse regions. Deputy Prime Minister Truss was clear that when our regions are strong so too is Australia.

We were excited to be announced as a successful recipient of a $25,000 grant from the Australia-Korea Foundation (AKF), part of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The AKF grant will allow us to create a suite of resources informing Korean trainees about the Orana region and our culture; and provide cultural training to Orana employers. This will assist with the success of the broader Korean Trainee Project, designed to allow Orana businesses to grow while allowing employers and training providers to deliver training of a high standard.

In July we hosted a delegation from Korea’s Catholic Sangji College. The delegates had a very productive visit, signing MOUs with TAFE and Fletchers International for the ongoing exchange of international education and also meeting with CSU for discussions. It has been very rewarding to see these new global partnerships form as a result of careful planning and relationship building.

The latest round of the National Stronger Regions Fund closed on 31 July. RDA Orana worked to provide information and assistance to a number of applicants. We held grant writing workshops in Dubbo and Coonamble which were well attended and received positive feedback from attendees.

Understanding the vital role that freight movement to and from the region plays in our region, RDA Orana is scoping a project for a Regional Freight and Logistics Feasibility Study for the region. The study will focus on how we use road, rail and air freight and include the role that ports have for our regional production and exports.

We are seeking input from industry both from a freight purchase and freight provider perspective. We need to include end user requirements in the study and consider our export markets and port network. The end result is to identify the freight infrastructure required to create an even more efficient supply chain to serve us well into the future. We invite you to contact us so we can include your input.

Phase 2 of our Infrastructure Masterplan is nearing completion. After initial consultation with government and industry, Phase 2 looked at identifying region-shaping infrastructure projects which will drive economic development. Once Phase 2 is finalised, Phase 3 will begin – this involves running a Benefit Cost Ratio to determine the viability of each project.

Over the past year you will have heard mention of the Work Inspiration program. After a lot of coordination we facilitated the region’s second Work Inspiration in early August. The Dubbo School of Distance Education and Crowe Horwath held the program, providing students from all over the Orana region who cannot attend mainstream schools, with valuable exposure to the workplace.

Finally, we are counting down to two major events – the SEGRA conference in October, immediately followed by our own Orana Outlook Dinner on the 22 October. SEGRA (Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia) will be held in Bathurst this year. We are looking forward to hearing a range of valuable presenters and participating in discussions around issues that are critical to regional development. The aim of our Orana Outlook Dinner is to celebrate economic development achievements in the region over the past 12 months and raise awareness of what is needed for a development focus for the region. This year we are expecting a number of political VIP’s and international delegates.

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