A further $200 million is now available for Round Two of the $1 billion Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF), Regional Australia Minister Simon Crean announced today.
Opening the newest RDAF round, Mr Crean said the Gillard Labor Government would continue to work in close partnership with local communities to drive growth and development across Australia’s regions.
“With our economy in transition, the Australian Government is engaging the regions to identify new opportunities to diversify and strengthen their economic base,” Mr Crean said
“Thats why we have already allocated $150 million to 35 projects in Round One of the RDAF program and why we are now opening applications for Round Two and increasing the amount of available funding to $200 million.
“I asked the Chair of the Independent Advisory Panel, Christian Zahra, to help review Round One so we could better focus local input by strengthening the role of Regional Development Australia (RDA) committees in identifying priority needs and projects.
“After receiving constructive feedback from local government, not-for-profits and RDA committees, we have revised and refined the guidelines to encourage stronger, investment-ready applications that have a clear regional benefit.
“For the RDAF to work effectively, proposals must stack up we want well-researched strategic applications that set clear priorities and leverage funds or partnerships investment from local, state government or the private sector.”
Mr Crean said the RDAF application process had been revised to give RDA committees a greater role and to help local communities meet the guidelines and better prioritise their projects.
“Federal Labor is committed to embedding localism as a new factor in the way we govern this country,” he said.
For this to happen we need the regions and all three levels of government working together, effectively and efficiently, to ensure that all of the patches in our patchwork economy contribute to and share the benefits of growth.
“There can be future rounds of RDAF, but they are contingent the passing of the Mineral Resource Rent Tax (MRRT) through the Parliament another test of the Federal Oppositions commitment to regional Australia.”
The RDAF Round Two guidelines and fact sheets can be found at https://www.rdasunshinecoast.org.au/rda-fund-application