Regional Growth Fund Now Open

Today, the Hon Dr John McVeigh MP, Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government, released guidelines and opened applications for the $272.2 million Regional Growth Fund.

Regional Capitals Australia (RCA) Chairman, Mayor Shane Van Styn welcomed today’s announcement, stating the fund will ensure regional capital cities have new resources to meet the ongoing challenges of growth.

“We would also like to congratulate the government on listening to the regions by expanding the fund’s eligibility beyond regions undergoing structural adjustment, we all have transformational projects that will contribute to Australia’s economic growth,” Mayor Shane Van Styn said.

“This change is one of RCA’s key recommendations in our submission to the Minister on this issue.”

Additional issues raised in RCA’s submission and reflected in the guidelines include:

1. Packages of works: are eligible for funding, meaning the growth of regional cities can be met across a range of projects and small regional city deals could now have a source of funding.

2. Liveability and connectivity: projects growing connectivity and liveability are now eligible for funding.

3. Two stage process: an initial application will be the first step in the process, which when positively assessed will then require a second submission including comprehensive project management plans, full business case and audited financial statements. This removes costly business case preparation for projects unlikely to be funded.

Projects will require 50 per cent co-funding meaning each project must be valued at least $20 million. Applications close at 5pm AEST on 27 April 2018 and must be acquitted by 30 June 2022.

“It is great to see the government once again putting the needs of people living in regional cities and their surrounding rural areas on the agenda,” Mayor Shane Van Styn said.

“It is clear through these guidelines that the government has listened to our advice,” he said.

“We are looking forward to working with the government on this growing policy area and wish our member cities good luck in this application for important funding.” RCA Chair, Mayor Shane Van Styn.