Federal Minister Simon Crean.
Federal Minister Simon Crean. Nat Bromhead M

Local development fund boost

COFFS Coast businesses will benefit from a $1 billion, five-year program known as the Regional Development Australia Fund.

The fund will boost economic and community development in regional Australia and is a new approach to unlocking the potential of our regions by focusing on locally-driven solutions to regional needs.

Information sessions are being held this week on the Coffs Coast.

Regional Australia Minister Simon Crean recently announced the establishment of the fund, with the first allocation to start on July 1.

Resources have been allocated as part of the agreement struck with the Independents last September.

“The fund has a clear focus on local solutions, complete transparency and maximising long-term economic benefits, and I look forward to receiving applications for projects that stack up,” Mr Crean said.

Elizabeth McGregor, acting chairwoman of Regional Development Australia Mid-North Coast, welcomed the funding announcement and said her committee would have a central role to play in assessing applications.

“The guidelines for the RDAF were released by the Department of Regional Australia and we encourage the Mid-North Coast to become familiar with the opportunities for support in this program,” she said.

“RDAs are crucial to this fund. The Federal Government has made it clear that only applications backed by local RDAs and in line with the RDA regional plan will be considered for funding approval.”

Information on the RDAF, along with the RDA MNC regional plan, can be downloaded from the Regional Development Australia Mid-North Coast website at www.rdamidnorthcoast.org.au.

Further information on the RDAF Guidelines are also available from the Department of Regional Australia website at www.regional.gov.au.

The RDA MNC will conduct information sessions in each of the six local council areas on the Mid-North Coast.

Tomorrow’s sessions will be held from 10am to noon at C. ex Coffs, Vernon Street, Coffs Harbour, and from 2 to 4pm at the Bellingen Valley Lodge, 1381 Waterfall Way, Bellingen.

On Thursday a session will be held from 10am to noon at Nambucca Golf Club, Stuart Island, Nambucca Heads.

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