CEO Update July 2015


CEO Update July 2015

As 2015 continues to fly by, it’s time again to reflect on the last few weeks as we finally start to see some green grass appearing in some parts of the region. It seems appropriate to mention the BioHub feasibility/viability study has commenced. The BioHub will convert organic wastes and/or residues into products with the highest possible value; the end products and processes will vary according to the type of material being used, and the markets that exist (or can be generated) to purchase these products. We hope to establish whether it could provide an additional income stream and management option for suppliers of organic inputs. The next few months will see research and consultation with stakeholders, with the study expected to be completed by October.

Last week I travelled to Albury for the annual National Carbon Farming Conference. I had the opportunity to present an overview of the Orana Carbon Project. The project sees the ERF as an opportunity to expand to other industry sectors ($300m came in on the last auction that has led to improvements and investment beyond the farm) as well as the possibility of aggregation. Our role has been to create further awareness and case studies/engagement/information. We have a simplified info sheet on our web page now. We will have a guide for businesses online soon. We hope to see businesses potentially use the ERF as a secondary income stream while achieving environmental outcomes as well.

We are also helping to coordinate the first compiling of data for actual economic impact of the drought on 4 northern shires with shire staff, growers and Mark Coulton’s office. We are examining the multiplier impact on not just production but consumption and impact on the broader regional and state economy.

Soon we will be hosting a delegation from Korea’s Catholic Sangji College. They’ll be visiting the region to speak with some of our regional education and training providers about international education and investment relationships.

We have prepared a new video to showcase the Orana region’s diverse industry base to potential investors. You can view the video here.

Phase 2 of our Infrastructure Masterplan report has been finalised and now we continue on to Phase 3, the economic analysis, to prioritise the region shaping infrastructure projects. We are looking forward to seeing the final results for infrastructure that will drive economic growth to be then funnelled into the funding process.

We have been happy to hear about a number of exciting National Stronger Regions Fund applications being developed. We have been assisting with applications, most recently by holding grant writing workshops in Dubbo and Coonamble for Councils and NGOs to have the best possible opportunity to submit strong applications for NSRF so the Orana maximises opportunity for infrastructure investments. We’re still available this week to help out with feedback – just don’t leave your application until the last minute! The funding round closes 31 July. You’ll find some further tips on NSRF applications including FAQs here.

Stage 2 of the Golden Highway Corridor work is underway and there are three key next steps: assessing relevant funding mechanisms through Infrastructure NSW and Transport for NSW programs; preparation of a formal economic analysis and preparation of a business case for the corridor enhancements.

Finally I would like to welcome aboard our new Deputy Chair Matt Fuller. Matt will be a great advantage to RDA Orana, bringing a wealth of experience from the tourism industry. We look forward to working with him, and also the upcoming announcement of a freshly appointed committee.

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