Regional Development Australia Fitzroy and Central West (RDAFCW) is committed to achieving regional growth, economic diversification, job creation, development and investment across the Fitzroy and Central West region. The following demonstrated the work achieved by RDAFCW from 1 January 2018 to 31 March 2018.
Committee and Staffing Arrangements
On 10 April 2018, Federal Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government, the Hon Dr John McVeigh MP, announced Mr Grant Cassidy as RDAFCW Chair. Mr Cassidy’s experience and community presence places him well for the position. The high-profile tourism and hospitality leader is also a Board Member of the Gladstone Ports Corporation, Committee Member of Advance Rockhampton, Chair of the Capricornia Business Advisory Alliance, and Chair of the Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal committee.
Positions of Deputy Chair and Committee Members will be advertised in the second quarter of 2018.
The Role of Director of Regional Development, is currently being recruited with an announcement to come in the second quarter of 2018.
In February, the RDAFCW Committee undertook a planning session to identify priorities and activities for RDAFCW in 2018. Three priority areas were identified, including:
- Aged Care;
- An Overview of Food and Fibre in the Fitzroy and Central West; and
- Water Project.
In addition to the three priority areas RDAFCW will continue to play a critical facilitating role across areas that will support the future economic development of the region.
In December 2017, RDAFCW completed the Aged Care and Allied Health Services in the Fitzroy and Central West Queensland Report. This report outlined a number of recommendations with the RDAFCW committee resolving to priorities two of the recommendations:
- Invest in technology that improves quality of life for those who chose to age in place; and
- Encourage skills development in rural and regional areas.
RDAFCW is now working with CQUniversity to undertake a cost benefit analysis around technology to assist in helping people who wish to remain in their home and community for as long as possible. These finding will be presented to the Australian Government and utilised to peruse investment in aged care technologies.
After completing the Aged Care Report, RDAFCW was invited to participate with in round table discussions looking for possible solutions to address the current shortfall of aged care and allied health workers in regional Australia. The round table and subsequent research by the Australian Government’s Department of Health is expected to be released in the second half of 2018.
An Overview of Food and Fibre in the Fitzroy and Central West
RDAFCW is currently in the process of updating statistics and figures of its 2013 An Overview of Food and Fibre in the Fitzroy and Central West report. This report is due to be finalised in time for Beef Week 2018. The finding in this report will be used to support investment and trade in agriculture as well as demonstrate the importance of key transport infrastructure to allow further growth in this sector.
Regional Growth Fund
In March 2018, the Honourable Dr John McVeigh MP, Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government, announced the opening for initial applications to the $272.2 million Regional Growth Fund. RDAFCW disseminated this information to all key stakeholders through advertising on the website, electronic news and social media. The Regional Growth Fund will provide grants of $10 million or more for major transformational projects which support long-term economic growth and create jobs in regions undergoing structural adjustment. RDAFCW will provide letters of support to project proponents.
Northern RDA Alliance
RDAFCW forms part of the Northern RDA Alliance. This network, representing three jurisdictions from the Gascoyne in WA across the Northern Territory to Gladstone in Central Queensland, has been meeting regularly and providing input to the Australian Government on issues pertaining to Developing Northern Australia. This has included the development and delivery of the White Paper on Developing Northern Australia and the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund.
Northern Australia Building Energy Efficiency Project
RDAFCW as a part of the Northern RDA Alliance is contributing to the Northern Australia Building Energy Efficiency Project (NABEEP) which will enable the quantitative modelling of trajectories for the climate zones of Northern Australia. This project will benefit policy makers by providing a robust evidence base to support the establishment of best practice building regulations relevant to the unique climate of the northernmost parts of Australia.
Economic Development Australia and RDA Commonwealth Games Trade and Investment Event
Economic Development Australia and Queensland RDAs have planned a trade and investment event to coincide with the Commonwealth Games to be help on 12 April 2018. RDAFCW contributed to the development of a publication highlighting the key industries around the Fitzroy and Central West region as well as emerging industries. The publication will be distributed to economic development practitioners and investors from a range of Commonwealth nations attending the event to support trade and investment in our region and across Queensland.