Cyber and Scams Awareness Information Session

RDA Norfolk Island (RDANI) are excited to announce that we will be delivering an information session on Cyber Safety / Scam Awareness, in partnership with NBN Co and Women’s Advocacy Group Norfolk Island (WAGNI) on 26th June at the Knowledge and Learning Centre from 5.30pm.

Following recent visits by RDANI team members, feedback from the Norfolk Island community has highlighted the need for business and community support around Cyber Safety / Scams Awareness. RDANI reached out to NBN Co for assistance in delivering an initial information session to the Norfolk Island community and they came on board straight away.

“Unfortunately, we live in a world where cyber-attacks and scams are becoming more frequent and much more sophisticated, and it leaves all of us increasingly vulnerable. RDANI is pleased to bring this initial information session to Norfolk Island, and we hope that from this session we will be able to further determine the needs of the community and opportunity for further workshops in this area”, said Dianne Wall Acting RDAMNC CEO.

Please refer to the flyer for information on how to register. If you are unable to use the link or QR code, please email your registration to operations@rdamnc.org.au. We look forward to seeing you there!

Acting CEO, Dianne Wall, will again be visiting Norfolk Island in late June to continue the delivery of current projects and to engage with the Norfolk Island community. If you would like to meet with Dianne on her next visit, please reach out to her at operations@rdamnc.org.au.

For further updates and information on what the RDA Norfolk Island team are up to, be sure to like our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/RDANorfolkIsland).

RDA Mid North Coast & Norfolk Island facilitates the introduction of fresh genetics to Norfolk Island’s cattle population

We are very pleased to announce that we have been able to facilitate the introduction of an assisted reproduction program for the cattle on Norfolk Island. We’d like to thank the Hon. Kristy McBain, MP and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communication and the Arts, Breeder Genetics, Norfolk Island Cattle Association and the Norfolk Island Regional Council for making this possible.

A full copy of the media release can be viewed here.

Launch of Norfolk Island Regional Plan

RDA Norfolk Island (RDANI) are excited to announce that following our recent consultation on the draft Regional Plan and subsequent feedback received from the Norfolk Island community we are now able to launch the completed Norfolk Island Regional Plan.  RDANI are very appreciative of the engagement and feedback we have received in the development of our first regional plan for Norfolk Island and are looking forward to being able to deliver projects with Norfolk Island that align with this plan. 

For a full copy of the media release, please click here.

A full copy of the Norfolk Island Regional Plan can be found here.

Norfolk Island Regional Plan Consultation

The draft Norfolk Island Regional Plan has been developed to focus on the Norfolk Island regional economy and act as a guide for much of the advocacy, facilitation and project development undertaken by the Regional Development Australia Board and staff.

Regional Development Australia Norfolk Island and Mid North Coast’s (RDAMNC’s) annual Business Plans will feed into, and draw from, this Regional Plan to ensure integration of the priorities and successful implementation and coordination of the key action items.

As the custodian of this Regional Plan, we recognise that success will come from a strong partnership model focused on outcomes. Local Government, business and community leaders are our key economic stakeholders in the region and are invited to join us at the consultation event and provide feedback on the plan.

The consultation event will be held at 6pm on the 14th February at the Governor’s Lodge. Norfolk Island.

A copy of the draft plan can be viewed here.

Regional Snapshots

The RDA MNC team have been developing regional snapshots for our communities across the Mid North Coast, Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands.

These snapshots are easy to read compilations of the demographics of our People, Places and Industries along with key insights on heath, housing and employment.

Go to the Regional Snapshot Project to see more information.

Regional Investment Framework

The Regional Investment Framework – outlined in the 2023-24 Budget – puts regions and the people who live in them, at the heart of decision making.

The Framework will establish a new regional development forum for Australian Government agencies, with regular engagement to better inform Commonwealth decisions. All regional investments must meet standards of merit and integrity, crucial to maintaining trust and confidence in government.

The Framework identifies four key priority areas to support regional development – investing in services, people, places and industry.

The 2023-24 Budget, invests heavily in these four priority areas.

Investing in Services

The 2023-24 Budget works to strengthen Medicare, relieve pressure on hospital systems, and ease the cost of living pressures for Australians, ensuring access to healthcare no matter your postcode or bank balance.

An historic investment of $3.5 billion will triple the Bulk Billing incentive – the largest increase in the 40-year history of Medicare – an immediate injection to benefit communities in regional, rural and remote Australia.

We’ll make common medicines cheaper. Australians in regional Australia will need half as many trips to the GP and pharmacist just to fill a repeat script for more than 300 Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme medicines used to treat chronic conditions, saving Australians up to $180 a year for every eligible medicine they buy.

Access to healthcare is a priority for regional Australia. We are also investing:

$358.5 million for Medicare Urgent Care Clinics to support delivery of an additional 8 clinics, bringing the total commitment to 58 clinics around Australia, including Broome and Rockhampton. Clinics will be operating this year, open for longer hours and with no out-of-pocket costs.
We’re also expanding After Hours Primary Care. And more Australians in regional and rural locations will benefit from longer telehealth consultations.
We’ll reinvest savings into strengthening community pharmacies, including by doubling the rural maintenance allowance. We want our pharmacists to play a larger, more central role in their communities, with funding to provide many more vaccinations, deliver opioid dependency treatments and medication reviews in Aged Care.
And commit $238.5 million to address inequities in cancer outcomes for First Nations people.
For regional families, the Government is also addressing critical shortages in Child Care and Teaching, to support and build a quality workforce.

$72.4 million to support Early Childhood Education and Care professional development.
A further $9.3 million to the National Teacher Workforce Action Plan, with initiatives to increase the number of people choosing to become teachers, and ensure we keep existing teachers.
We will also deliver $40.4 million in additional funding for schools in Central Australia to increase school enrolment, student engagement and improve learning outcomes.

Plus, we will invest further in the Indigenous Boarding Providers grants program, supporting dozens of providers who host some 2,300 First Nations students from remote areas.

The Albanese Government continues work to ensure Regional Australians are connected, informed and safe. We are:

Creating a new National Messaging System to help protect people and property – with targeted, real-time information to mobile phones during an emergency.
Continuing delivery of free-to-air satellite television services to regional and remote Australia, including First Nations communities.

Investing in People

The 2023-24 Budget delivers impactful cost-of-living relief to regional Australians.

Jobseeker and related working age payments will be increased by $40 and the Government will reduce the eligibility age for the higher JobSeeker rate for single people on the payment for 9 continuous months or more and who are 60 or over to 55 years or over.
The Single Parenting Payment, will be expanded to cover principal carers with a youngest child under 14 years of age, benefiting around 22,000 people in regional and remote Australia.
In addition, maximum rates of Commonwealth Rent Assistance will be increased by 15 per cent, benefiting around 300,000 people in Australia’s regions.
We are looking after our Aged Care Workforce, with a 15 per cent payrise – a record $11.3bn investment which will impact the some 4,000 aged care services taking care of our older Australians in rural, remote and regional Australia.

This Budget extends our commitment to our National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children – with a $589.3 million package, which includes a focus on First Nations women and children.

And we’re redesigning the Skills for Education and Employment program, to provide more pathways for Australians who want to access training, gain secure employment and career progression.

On top of our commitment to deliver 480,000 Fee-Free TAFE and vocational education places, we are:

Committing $8.6 million over four years to design and implement the Australian Skills Guarantee, which will create opportunities for apprentices, trainees, paid cadets – and for women to work on major Government projects in regional Australia.
Extending the Foundation Skills for Your Future Remote Community Pilots program, which currently supports people in 11 remote communities to better language, literacy, numeracy and digital literacy skills.

Investing in Places

The Albanese Government is making it easier for people to secure a safe and affordable home, no matter where they live.

We are expanding the Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee from July 1, to any two eligible borrowers, such as friends and siblings, beyond married or de facto couples, and making it available to non-first home buyers if they haven’t owned a property in Australia in the last 10 years.

And we’re supporting more social and affordable housing by increasing the guaranteed liabilities of the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) by $2 billion, to support more financing through the Australian Housing Bond Aggregator.

The Albanese Government is also committing $200 million, to deliver real change for Australians experiencing disadvantage – with a range of initiatives and a new targeted framework.

This Budget is also investing in safer communities with:

Up to $200 million per year to support disaster risk reduction projects in regional Australia, under the Disaster Ready Fund.
$236 million over 10 years to improve flood forecasting and warnings.
$231.8 million invested in Services Australia to establish a cost-effective emergency response capacity – ensuring the delivery of high-quality government services and payments, when customers need them the most.
We remain focused on keeping communities well connected.

The Albanese Government is committed to our 10-year, $120bn Infrastructure Pipeline. But we will clean up an unsustainable backlog we inherited with an independent review, to ensure we have a nation-building investment pipeline – with projects that provide regional connectivity, liveability and safety.

Other initiatives include:

Funding of up to $95 million a year for the Bridges Renewal Program.
$500 million for the Roads to Recovery Program.
33 Remote Roads Upgrade Pilot Program projects to be delivered in 2023 and 2024.
And, $43.6 million to deliver the National Road Safety Action Grants Program over 3 years, building on the Government’s commitment to improve road safety for all Australians.
The Budget also builds on the $250 million landmark plan for A Better, Safer Future for Central Australia, delivering the next phase of initiatives including in infrastructure, health, education and engagement for ‘at risk’ First Nations Youth.

We are also committed to lock in Commonwealth funding contribution to support the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games – including $935 million over 10 years towards 16 new or upgraded Games venues. This will benefit regional location including Barlow Park in Cairns and the Toowoomba Sports Ground.

And we continue to invest in the environment and culture, which make our regions unique.

This Budget invests $355.1 million over four years to end the neglect of Commonwealth National Parks, funding which will create local jobs. And $439.2 million over five years to support programs that repair World Heritage properties, restore Ramsar wetlands and conserve threatened species and ecosystems.

Plus, dedicated funding of $286 million under our landmark National Cultural Policy: Revive. This includes targeted initiatives in regional arts, including protecting First Nations knowledge and cultural expressions.

Investing in Industry and Local Economies

The Government is making future-focused investments, recognising the significant contribution Australia’s regions makes to securing a productive and sustainable future for the nation.

This budget allocates over $1.4 billion through the Powering the Regions Fund to support industrial decarbonisation and develop new clean energy industries in the regions, through three new streams of grants.

Building on this work, we will legislate a national Net Zero Authority to ensure the workers, industries and communities that have powered Australia for generations, can seize the opportunities of Australia’s net zero transformation.

Regional Australia will also benefit from new opportunities in the emerging hydrogen sector, and the Government has allocated $2bn to establish Hydrogen Headstart – to help underwrite large-scale renewable hydrogen projects through competitive hydrogen production contracts.

We are committed to ensuring Australia is a country that makes things, including through the Government’s $15bn National Reconstruction Fund, which will transform Australia’s industry and economy, creating secure, well-paid jobs in regional areas – with investments in seven priority areas, including value-add in resources, value-add resources, value-add in agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, transport and renewables and low emissions technology.

The Albanese Government continues its support of our strategically significant critical minerals projects, establishing the Critical Minerals International Partnerships Program and extending funding for the Critical Minerals office, to created continued economic opportunity for regional Australia.

And we are delivering on an election commitment to Australia’s agriculture sector – investing $1bn over four years, to strengthen the national biosecurity system.

We’ll create a new, sustainable and accountable funding model that will help minimise disruption and economic loss through outbreaks, support better yields through lower damage to produce and provide new access to markets, through greater biosecurity assurance and reputation.

The Budget also commits:

$40.6 million over four years to continue the Indigenous Rangers Biosecurity Program, supporting a strengthened biosecurity system in Northern Australia.
$302.1 million over five years through the National Heritage Trust to reduce the agriculture sector’s emissions, build climate resilience, enhance market access and improve environmental outcomes.
We are also growing and expanding the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme by strengthening domestic operations and enhancing oversight, without compromising safeguards that ensure vulnerable workers are adequately protected.

Read the original Media release here.

Federal Budget October 2022-2023

Tonight, 25 October 2022 Treasurer The Honourable Jim Chalmers MP (Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia) and Senator the Honourable Katy Gallagher (Minister for Finance, Minister for Women, Minister for the Public Service of the Commonwealth of Australia) announced the 2022-23 Commonwealth Budget.

The budget seeks to deliver on the Commonwealth’s commitments to:

  • Provide responsible cost-of-living relief that delivers an economic dividend
  • Build a stronger, more resilient and more modern economy
  • Begin the hard task of budget repair to pay for what is important

There are two new programs for the regions:

  • The Growing Regions Program will deliver on the Government’s strategic priorities for regional Australia through an open, competitive grants process.
  • The regional Precincts and Partnerships Program will provide a strategic, nationally consistent mechanism for funding and coordinating projects that support the transformation of important locations across communities in regions, regional cities and rural Australia.

Telecommunications:

  • $400 million to expand regional mobile coverage and improve the resilience of communications systems;
  • $200 million for two further rounds of the Regional Connectivity Program, to improve connectivity in regional, rural and First Nations communities;
  • $30 million over three years to accelerate Australia’s agricultural sector through the On Farm Connectivity Program, to extend connectivity for farmers and their machinery, and grow Australia’s agribusiness;
  • $20 million for an independent national audit of mobile coverage to establish an evidence baseline to guide and better target future priorities; and
  • a further $6 million over three years to extend the Regional Tech Hub to support better consumer awareness, connectivity literacy and trouble-shooting.

Read more:

2022-23 budget papers

Treasurer’s speech

The Hon Catherine King MP, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government

The Hon Michelle Rowland MP Minister for Communications

More About……Working with Defence

Do you think your business is too small to work with Defence? Or that you need to be based in a major city? Think again.  The Office of Defence Industry Support is here to support you.

What is ODIS:

Opened in November 2021, ODIS is a one stop shop for defence industries.  The service provides advisory, guidance and mentoring services for SMEs to better enable them to work with defence.

More specifically, ODIS provides:

  • Defence business advice
  • Direct linkages to Defence procurement programs
  • Identify current SMEs who can meet Defence needs
  • Direct linkages to Defence end users
  • Assist SMEs to work with end users
  • Tailor grants to assist the development of SMEs
  • Work closely with other key Australian Government initiatives

You must have:

  • An Australian Business Number
  • Be developing products or services that have a specific Defence application which meets a capability need
  • Clear on your business goals and priorities

And be able to:

  • Deliver to the specification you have quoted on
  • Access advice and support available
  • Learn and adapt

Use the Defence Business Readiness Tool (DBRT) to assess the readiness of your business to work with Defence against four key factors: Leadership, products, services, business culture and business processes. ODIS Business advisors can support you to use this tool.

Need support?  Contact

Petr Kodat
Assistant Director

Industry Engagement Team NSW
Office of Defence Industry Support (ODIS)
Australian Industry Capability Division (AIC)
Capability Acquisition & Sustainment Group (CASG)
Department of Defence

Email: petr.kodat1@defence.gov.au
Mobile: 0427 567 262
Web: www.defence.gov.au/odis

Mental Wellness resources for Small Business owners

If you’re doing it tough right now, you’re not alone. We’ve put together a list of resources to help you through, specifically aimed at small business owners.

Ahead for Business have developed a new online training program for business owners. The program aims to enhance capacity and confidence in promoting positive mental health and wellbeing within small business. It will deliver a variety of activities, case studies, information sheets and videos which explore key topic areas of mental health, wellbeing, coping with stress, help-seeking strategies and action planning. There will be four, 10-15 minute modules to complete each containing practical tips and tools, and reflective questions. For more information and to register interest please visit this link:

Counting on U Training Program: Counting on U is an Australian-wide, workplace mental health, and relationship-building program, that aims to provide training to business advisors (e.g. accountants, bookkeepers, financial planners, coaches, lawyers and tax advisors) to better support the needs of small-to-medium (SME) business owners. Business advisors will be offered free training to better support the mental health and financial wellbeing of small-to-medium enterprise (SME) business owners. Training will be conducted online and 4500 participants will be recruited. Register your interest here. 

Lifeline: is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing emotional distress with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. We are committed to empowering Australians to be suicide-safe through connection, compassion and hope. 13 11 44. 

Community Connectors: A Lifeline program aimed to skill people in local communities who perform a community connector role through their contact with people either through their work or volunteer roles. The program is for people who would like to be able to safely and effectively support someone in distress or experiencing a crisis. No pre-existing skills or knowledge required. For more information contact Cath Bird: 0400 709 101 

Accidental Counsellor: is aimed at those who would like to be able to safely and effectively support friends, family, colleagues, and strangers who are in distress or experiencing a crisis. Accidental Counsellor by Lifeline will provide you with basic skills and a structure to enable you to provide immediate support and assistance using the ‘Recognise, Respond, Refer’ model. The skills learnt in the Accidental Counsellor course can be applied in many contexts, and will provide participants with skills in active listening, calming and effective gentle questioning. You will also learn how to ask openly about suicide risk and respond safely whatever the answer. The course is open to anyone and no pre-existing skills or knowledge are required. We can also tailor the course to suit your corporate environment. 

Mental Health at Work: NSW Government programs to support good mental health at work, including free programs, tools and resources to help create a healthy workplace and to help support someone recovering from mental health issues. Call 13 10 50 or visit their website for more information. 

Beyond Blue Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service: Struggling to cope during the pandemic? Our trained counsellors are available 24/7. Give them a call on 1800 512 348 or visit their website to access resources, chat online and community forums. 

NewAccess for small Business Owners:  free and confidential mental health coaching program, developed by Beyond Blue to give small business owners, including sole traders, the support they need. Over six sessions, coaches with a small business background will work with you to overcome difficult issues, providing you with practical skills to manage stress and get you back to feeling like yourself. NewAccess for Small Business Owners is available nationally by phone or video call.   

Mental Health Support: From 9 October 2020, the Australian Government will make available 10 additional Medicare subsidised psychological therapy sessions each calendar year. These extra sessions are for people experiencing severe or enduring mental health impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the measures needed to contain it. You will need to see your GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician to be referred for the 10 additional sessions. 

Black Dog Institute: Resources and support for COVID-10 related anxiety and stress designed for managers and workers. 

Head to Health: has been created by Australia’s Department of Health to provide Australians trusted information and digital resources to help support mental health and wellbeing during the pandemic. Helpful information includes: 

  • maintaining good mental health 
  • managing financial stress 
  • how to access mental health services 
  • how to talk to children about coronavirus 
  • protecting the elderly.