Re­gional projects in run­ning for $1b fund­ing

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

THE Dain­tree Gateway and the Port Dou­glas Water­front pro­ject are in the run­ning for a slice of a $1 bil­lion re­gional de­vel­op­ment fund an­nounced by the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment last week.

Lo­cal coun­cil­lor Ju­lia Leu said both projects ap­pear to fit into the ba­sic pa­ram­e­ters for the Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Aus­tralia Fund.

“We haven’t seen the fi­nal road map yet, but I know the com­mit­tee is cer­tainly very aware of the Port Dou­glas water­front, for in­stance,” Ms Leu said.

Fi­nal guide­lines for the fund are not yet avail­able, but pri­or­ity is likely to be given to projects which are “shovel-ready” and fit in with the “re­gional road map”.

Pro­ject boost­ers vy­ing for a chunk of the bil­lion­dol­lar fund will have to con­vince the lo­cal RDA com­mit­tee their pet projects will im­prove lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

Re­gional Aus­tralia Min­is­ter Si­mon Crean told rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the 55 RDA com­mit­tees they would have to fight for their share for the fund.

“We want ap­pli­ca­tions that stack up,” Mr Crean said.

“Projects that will boost eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, cre­ate lo­cal jobs and lift the qual­ity of life in lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and re­gions.

“The al­lo­ca­tion of fund­ing will be com­pet­i­tive, merit-based and only ap­pli­ca­tions that have the back­ing of lo­cal RDA com­mit­tees will be con­sid­ered.”

Grants be­tween $500,000 and $25 mil­lion will be avail­able.

“Those grants of more than $5 mil­lion must be matched by funds from sources other than the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment,” Mr Crean said.

“To en­sure an im­me­di­ate and pos­i­tive im­pact, projects also have got to be in­vest­ment ready.

“All the plan­ning, re­zon­ing, en­vi­ron­men­tal and na­tive ti­tle ap­provals should be in place.”

The Far North Queens­land and Tor­res Strait “road map” is ex­pected to be re­leased next month.

“The Re­gional Road Map es­sen­tially out­lines the pri­or­i­ties for the re­gion, and iden­ti­fies strate­gic ac­tions and some broad ini­tia­tives which could be de­vel­oped to achieve these”, lo­cal RDA chair­man Al­lan Dale said.

“The RDA FNQ&TS Com­mit­tee and this doc­u­ment will play a piv­otal role in iden­ti­fy­ing projects to be sup­ported by the RDAF pro­gram.”

Or­gan­i­sa­tions wish­ing to re­ceive the RDAF guide­lines, upon re­lease, should reg­is­ter their in­ter­est by email­ing rdaf@ re­gional. gov. au and in­clud­ing “RDAF In­ter­est” as the sub­ject line.

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