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RDAFCW Quarterly Update – 1 Janaury – 31 March 2018

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.


Forward Planning

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.


Aged Care

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.


For more information on any of the above information please contact Candice Fraser, Project Officer, via email or visit the RDAFCW website for new updates

Regional Growth Fund

Initial Applications to the $272.2 million Regional Growth Fund are now open.

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.

Projects must be located in Australia and in an eligible area or, if your project is located in an excluded area, you must clearly demonstrate how economic benefits flow directly into an eligible area. A mapping tool is available to assist applicants determine the project or benefit location.

Selection of projects will be undertaken in two stages. Stage One requires submission of an Initial Application for competitive assessment. Stage Two is for the submission of a Full Business Case. Only successful applications to the Initial Application will be invited to submit a Full Business Case.

Initial Applications are now open.

Initial Applications will close at 5pm AEST on 27 April 2018.

Merit criteria

To be competitive you must score highly against all three criteria:

  • Create Jobs
  • Drive Economic Growth
  • Build Stronger Regional Communities

Apply now

You should familiarise yourself with the Key Documents prior to commencing your Initial Application.

For further assistance with the Initial Application Form, please contact the RGF HelpDesk at 1800 044 938 or at

You are encouraged to seek the support of your Regional Development Australia (RDA) Committee for your project. For contact information on your local RDA see Alternatively you can email the Department on or call us on our RDA hotline 1800 505 938.

Aged Care Workforce Strategy

The Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce (the Taskforce) welcomes your input to the development of the Aged Care Workforce Strategy (the Strategy).

The Taskforce was formed on 1 November 2017, and is due to report to the Minister for Aged Care, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP by 30 June 2018. It is headed by an independent chair, Professor John Pollaers.

The Taskforce is developing a strategy for growing and sustaining the workforce providing aged care services and support for older people, to meet their care needs in a variety of settings across Australia. The Taskforce will place particular emphasis on:

  • Workforce planning covering workforce size and structure, managing growth and changes in service requirements, mix of occupations, workforce roles and distinct workforce needs in different care settings and market catchments.
  • Supply and retention of the right workers with the right aptitudes in the right locations, and securing and sustaining up-to-date skills.
  • The capacity of providers as employers, and the role of sector leadership, to equip the workforce to meet service requirements, needs and expectations of quality of care and services.
  • Building sector-wide capabilities to innovate and extend new ways of working tailored to the needs of the older people who use aged care services, their families, carers and communities.

In undertaking its work, the Taskforce will be expected to:

  • Assess trends, emerging issues and potential scenarios relevant to the current and future workforce.
  • Cover the entire aged care workforce engaged in providing care and services, including support staff, contracted services and volunteers.
  • Work in the context of aged care system policy settings, integrity, consumer safeguards and funding.
  • Consider wider government policy settings of relevance to the workforce.
  • Have regard to recent submissions to and reports of relevant inquiries on aged care workforce matters, and government responses.
  • Engage and consult widely to ensure all points of view are heard and considered.
  • Integrate in its work an inclusive and responsive workforce to support the diverse needs of older people.
  • Ensure coverage of regional, rural, remote and very remote workforce issues.
  • Consider cross-sectoral challenges and opportunities, particularly with the health, disability, education and employment sectors.
  • Incorporate short term, medium term and longer term actions as part of a sustainable strategy.

The Taskforce is building its approach to the strategy around five strategic imperatives:

  1. Why the aged care industry matters
  2. Industry leadership, mindset and accountability
  3. Industry workforce organisation and education (current and future)
  4. Industry attraction and retention
  5. Translating research and technology into models of care and practice

Consultation and Engagement

As noted above, the Taskforce has been asked to engage and consult widely on shaping and building the strategy. To date, this has included:

  • a working summit on 4 December 2017 that brought together a broad range of knowledge, skills and perspectives to support the Taskforce in shaping the Strategy;
  • workshops with consumers, carers and aged care employees in five locations nationally with four more to be conducted over February 2018; and
  • bilateral discussions with aged care advocates, peak body representatives, employment agencies and others with an interest in the aged care workforce.

These are being supported by targeted community consultations and issues focused roundtables.

This opportunity to provide submissions to the Taskforce is a key element of the Taskforce’s Consultation and Engagement process to ensure all points of view are heard and considered.  Further details about the Taskforce’s work are available from the Taskforce website.

Building on evidence and knowledge

In shaping the Strategy, the Taskforce will take into consideration what has already been covered in recent reviews, inquiries, reports and studies touching on workforce issues.

Additional pieces of work to inform the Taskforce have been commissioned to aid the Taskforce to: assess trends, emerging issues and potential scenarios relevant to the current and future workforce; understand what drives the current workforce profile and perceptions of the industry (from community care through to residential care); understand current organisational, job and career profiles and identify opportunities to build on these and meet the needs of the future; and the role of education and training in supporting the current and future workforces.

Why We Are Consulting

To support its work, the Taskforce is undertaking two phases of broad consultation. In this first phase the Taskforce is seeking your ideas and suggestions on key considerations for each strategic imperative to inform development of the strategy.

The second phase will coincide with the next workforce summit in April 2018 and seek feedback on the draft strategy.

Please share your views on each of the imperatives as indicated below, using a maximum of 250 words for each text box.

If you have previously raised workforce matters for consideration in reviews/inquiries or published materials, and you wish to refer the Taskforce to these, please note them in your submission under Part B, Question 11.

Should you wish to provide broader input than that raised in the questions you may wish to provide an attachment in Word or PDF.

If you have any questions about the submission process, please contact the Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce secretariat at: or call on 1800 020 103 (freecall).

Submissions close on 16 March 2018. CLICK HERE TO MAKE A SUBMISSION 

Get Planning Spaces – funding to plan places to play

The Get Planning Spaces program (formerly the Sport and Recreation Planning Program) is now part of the Get in the Game initiative. The program provides funding to Queensland based state level sport and active recreation organisations, local governments and other relevant peak organisations to develop quality, evidence-based sport and recreation infrastructure planning documents.

Departmental funding contributions are up to a maximum of $100,000 depending on the organisation type and geographic location of the project. Organisations may also be required to contribute towards the total project cost.

Important dates

  • Applications will open 12 February 2018.
  • Applications will close 18 April 2018.
  • Announcement of successful projects in June 2018.
  • Successful projects can commence in July 2018.

For further information please click here. 

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