Regional projects in running for $1b funding
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.