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.

Please rsvp via the ticket link to ensure your seat.

Improving access to the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme

The Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme allows eligible Australian businesses to hire workers from 9 Pacific islands and Timor-Leste when there are not enough local workers available.

Through the PALM scheme, eligible businesses can recruit workers for short-term jobs for up to 9 months or long-term roles for between one and 4 years in unskilled, low-skilled and semi-skilled positions.

The PALM scheme helps to fill labour gaps in rural and regional Australia and nationally for agriculture and select agriculture-related food product manufacturing sectors by offering employers access to a pool of reliable, productive workers. It also allows Pacific and Timor-Leste workers to take up jobs in Australia, develop their skills and send income home.

RDAMNC is continuing to engage with organisations who can assist Norfolk Island gain greater access to this scheme. More information will be made available in due course.

To learn more about the scheme, please refer to the PALM Scheme website.

Herd Genetics Program

RDAMNC acknowledges that the Norfolk Island community has been working tirelessly to adapt to the new ban on importation of live ruminants. We acknowledge that NI has undertaken – at significant cost – projects to upskill in artificial reproduction, but the projects are not delivering results that are assisting the situation.

RDA MNC and NI is seeking a research partner to assist with the following project objectives:

  1. Design the lowest risk possible protocol for an emergency live animal importation onto Norfolk Island backed by scientific evidence that specifically addresses the following:
    1. Testing regime
    1. Quarantine regime – mainland and Norfolk Island
    1. Potential breeders/commercial suppliers
    1. Cost
  2. Design a testing protocol for Live Embryos which will satisfy the Biosecurity testing requirements for Johnes and Q-Fever (both male and female donors tested) OR a sacrificial embryo testing protocol (and validate the testing of embryos to as satisfactory for testing for Biosecurity purposes)
  3. Provide the live embryos under a commercial arrangement if breeding suitable stock
  4. Assist in investigating the reasons for low success rates from artificial insemination and work with the Norfolk Island community to improve these success rates

RDAMNC will continue to provide updates once we have engaged a research partner.

Food System Mapping

A long-term healthy, affordable, and secure food supply for Norfolk Island requires evidence-informed decision tools. At a global scale, there is extensive research progress on methods to assess sustainability of food systems, with more than 30 frameworks available. Core domains usually assessed include social, economic and environmental considerations, while healthiness and affordability of foods and issues such as governance and resilience are less often considered. Trade-offs often need to be considered in local decision making—there are a number of approaches available that provide evidence-based decision-making tools for trade-off analysis, often involving multiple-criteria decision analysis methods using local data.

RDAMNC has engaged QUT to help select and develop the most suitable frameworks that will help the Norfolk Island community in decision making around improved food security on the island. They will be providing expertise in food security and nutritional priority analysis, and expertise in food system sustainability assessment and data-informed decision making.
Through the provision of an evidence-based framework, this project provides a means to facilitate information collection and sharing, engagement and trusted decision making about future priorities for funding and infrastructure that will ultimately seek to improve the health, quality of life and economic sustainability of this remote Australian community.

Soil Health & Your Wealth – presented by Graeme Sait

Regional Development Australia Mid North Coast (RDAMNC) has an incredible opportunity for the local farmers on Norfolk Island and RDAMNC is seeking Expressions of Interest from those who would like to engage with Graeme Sait from Nutri-Tech Solutions during his upcoming visit in February 2024.  If you are interested, please contact Dianne Wall via operations@rdamnc.org.au to register your interest.  Please refer to the course flyer for more information.

RDAMNC is incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to bring Graeme Sait – the CEO and Founder of Nutri-Tech Solutions – to Norfolk Island in February 2024 to work with local farmers.  NTS are world leaders in regenerative agriculture. They have developed a groundbreaking system which slashes chemical reliance, rejuvenates soil, boosts plant vitality, and elevates human health. They work with farmers to create more profitable, productive farming enterprises across the globe.  

NTS’s mission is “NTS is committed to improving profitability for farmers. Food production is the most important of all professions and farmers must be nurtured, protected and supported in every way. Farming needs to be more profitable, more sustainable and more fun and we are passionately producing education, strategies and inputs to help achieve these goals.”

A little bit about Graeme…..

Graeme is an author and educator who has published over 300 articles as well as the book Nutrition Rules!.  Graeme is recognised internationally as a specialist in soil, plant, animal and human health and wellness.  Graeme has presented for TEDx and his presentation can be viewed here.  Graeme continues to create major impact by influencing farmers, consultants, medicos, governments and key decision-makers worldwide.  Of special mention, is that Graeme and the NTS agronomy team have trained all of the growers in South Africa that supply Woolworths (Australia’s largest supermarket chain) with their “Farming for the Future” initiative. 

We encourage you to look at the Nutri-Tech Solutions website (https://nutri-tech.com.au/) to learn a bit more about Graeme and NTS’s mission, it’s products and services and tune into their podcast.  

Norfolk Island Regional Plan

Following on from the Federal Governments release of the Regional Investment Framework (RIF) and the information received during CEO, Madeleine Lawler’s recent residential visit to Norfolk Island, Regional Development Australia Mid North Coast (RDAMNC) is now the process of writing a regional plan for Norfolk Island. 

The Norfolk Island regional plan will be presented during a February 2024 visit to the Island by Madeleine Lawler (CEO) and Dianne Wall (COO) for community feedback.

A copy of the plan will be published on this website once it has been completed. Should you have any questions, please reach out to Madeleine (madeleine@rdamnc.org.au) or Dianne (operations@rdamnc.org.au).

Update: Please join us at the Regional Plan consultation event on the 14th February 2024. For more information and to book your seat CLICK HERE.

Country Universities Centre

During the very early stages of the recent Residential Visit on Norfolk Island by RDAMNC CEO, Madeleine Lawler, the repeat challenge of access to vocational education and training and higher education for Norfolk Islanders was raised. The team has initiated a Regional University Study Hub Grant application with the Country University Centre team in order to improve access to post-secondary education on Island.

More information will be shared once this project progresses.

Renewables Opportunity Map

One of the four pillars in the Regional Investment Framework (RIF) is Investing in Places. This is a challenging space for RDAs. At the 2023 National Conference for RDA, it was clearly articulated that the federal government wants to see RDAs active in leading and encouraging net zero transition.

The opportunity to commission a high-level opportunity analysis of the Mid North Coast arose and RDAMNC have engaged ANU to undertake this study, which would identify the areas where wind, offshore wind, pumped hydro and commercial solar installations could be developed.

Once the opportunity analysis has been completed, RDAMNC will do the following:

  1. Meet with each General Manager of the Councils in our region and discuss the opportunities
  2. Offer to facilitate community consultation on the outcome of this report
  3. Produce a supplementary report for the state government and federal government that summarises the community feedback and outcomes
  4. Consider producing a regional plan for renewable energy to provide to the investment community which provides the ‘green light’ for detailed business cases.

This analysis is expected to be completed by June 2024.

Norfolk Island Local Produce Branding Project

During the Tourism and Wellbeing Business Incubator of 2022, a “made in Norfolk” brand was again raised as a priority to identify the products and produce that has been locally made and grown.

RDAMNC saw the opportunity to work with Saturate, the branding and media agency engaged to undertake the Norfolk Island Destination Marketing project, to ensure that the “made in Norfolk” brand was harmonious and linked to destination marketing.

This will produce an exciting identity for the creations of Norfolk Island, making it easy for tourists to shop locally and support the domestic economy of Norfolk Island.