Regional development funds

With Empty Space projects expanding into regional Australia, there is an opportunity to access funds through the Australian Federal Government’s regional development strategy.

The Commonwealth’s Budget of 2011 contained over $4.3 billion for regional development, including: 

  • A $558 million National Workforce Development Fund - which will ensure training investment is industry-led and addresses the needs of regional areas.
  • $916 million for the first projects under the Regional Infrastructure Fund.
  • Extending the Priority Employment Area Strategy - allowing Local Employment Coordinators to continue their work in areas 'doing it tough'.
  • And an extra $20.3 million for Regional Development Agencies.

Any proposal submitted might consider some focus points of current political discourse:

  • Creative industry clusters would begin incubating the cultural potential of Australian regions;
  • Partnerships developed with education providers, could involve on-site access to your Empty Space facilities for vocational and distant education programs (which meets the government policy of improving the skills of the Australian workforce, particularly those in disadvantaged situations or on welfare);
  • Partnerships developed with Centrelink, Work Cover NSW, and Community Health and Wellbeing departments, could assist people in the community  to return to the workforce and recover from illness and injury;
  • Business incubation through provision of tailored mentorship programs;
  • Business innovation and networking hubs. This would be achieved by creating industry pods for sole traders or small business that take the form of office space with businesses support facilities attached;
  • Creating community activity (and programs) aimed at a range of different demographics (Ageing, Young Mothers, Young People etc) within your local region to improve social wellbeing;
  • Linking into Commonwealth immigration attraction and growth strategies;
  • Aligning with Infrastructure development programs in place to foster new industries within the region.