Regional Development Australia (RDA) committees such as RDA Sunshine Coast have a key role to play in shaping regional infrastructure investment to meet regional needs during Round Two of the Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF).
Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, Simon Crean this week announced of Round Two of the fund, worth $200 million.
Key aspects of Round Two are: a two stage application process that will reduce costs for applicants; embed local decision making, and provide early certainty for project proponents about funding for their project.
As part of this new role, RDA committees will review Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from all potential applicants and select three viable priority projects from their region to progress to full application.
Professor Max Standage, Chair of RDA Sunshine Coast said that RDA committees are uniquely placed to review viable projects that align with their regional priorities and plans.
“RDA committees are jointly appointed by the Commonwealth and State Government and are also closely in touch with local communities.
“We welcome the opportunity to having a stronger voice and contribute directly to the Government’s regional focus ”.
The new process for RDAF Round Two is as follows:
- Eligible applicants are required to submit one EOI form for a single project, to their RDA committee by Thursday, 1 December 2011. The form is available from the Department’s website.
- RDA committees will review each EOI and select three viable priority projects from their region to proceed to full application.
- Full applications will be assessed by the Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government against the eligibility and selection criteria, risk, and value for money.
- Applications will be considered by the RDAF Advisory Panel which will provide advice to the Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, the Hon Simon Crean MP. The Minister will make decisions on projects to be funded.
In prioritising our three viable priority projects, the Minister has asked RDA committees to take into account the priorities of our Regional Roadmap, the capacity of the project to address needs in the region, the level of community support for the project, impact of the project on the region and neighbouring regions, and readiness to proceed.
The RDAF is worth almost $1 billion over five years (some of which is subject to the passage of the Minerals Resource Rent Tax) and is designed to boost economic and community development as part of the Australian Government’s commitment to regional Australia.
More information including the Round Two Guidelines, key dates and full details on the EOI process can be found at www.regional.gov.au. Applicants can ask questions relating to the application and assessment process by emailing email@example.com.
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