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Administered programmes

Regional Solutions Programme

Programme
Performance indicators

Regional Solutions Programme

Effectiveness: Regional, rural and remote areas of Australia develop local solutions to local problems and improve their sustainability.

Quality: Stakeholder satisfaction with the programme.

Improved cross portfolio and jurisdictional cooperation.

Quantity: Number and geographical spread of grants approved.

Cost: $22.6 million

Location: Regional, rural and remote Australia.

Results based on performance indicators

Substantially achieved

The Regional Solutions Programme (RSP) provides assistance to regional, rural and remote areas of Australia to build their capacity to identify and implement opportunities to solve local problems and achieve self-sustainability through economic diversification.

A stakeholder survey indicated that:

  • 67 per cent of people surveyed thought that the application process was very easy or quite easy
  • 68 per cent of respondents were very satisfied or quite satisfied with the Department's handling of their application
  • 63 per cent of people in the survey thought that the programme had had a major positive impact on the community so far, while a further 23 per cent thought that it had had a moderately positive impact.

The Department seeks comments on project applications from relevant Federal agencies, Area Consultative Committees and State Government agencies as a regular part of the application assessment process.

About 10 per cent of the Regional Solutions Programme's projects have been jointly funded by the Programme and other Federal Government initiatives, and 25 per cent have been jointly funded with State Government agencies. Two examples of such joint funding are: the Warwick City Council, which received $454,545 from the RSP and $90,000 from the Federal Government's Regional Tourism Programme towards the Australian Rodeo Heritage Centre project; and the Minnipa Progress Association Inc., which received $45,591 from the RSP and $23,950 from the South Australian Government towards implementing a range of tourism and development initiatives identified in the community plan.

The number and geographic spread of approved grants in 2001-02 were as follows:

  • New South Wales-83 projects (28.9 per cent)
  • Northern Territory-13 projects (4.5 per cent)
  • Queensland-65 projects (22.6 per cent)
  • South Australia-25 projects (8.7 per cent)
  • Tasmania-8 projects (2.8 per cent)
  • Victoria-50 projects (17.4 per cent)
  • Western Australia-42 projects (14.6 per cent).

The budget for the Regional Solutions Programme was increased to $25.609 million in the Additional Estimates process.

During 2001-02, the programme:

  • received 611 applications for funding
  • processed and sent 670 applications to the Ministers for decision
  • expended $25,608,425 on approved grants
  • executed 281 grant contracts for approved projects.

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Special Structural Adjustment Package for the South West Forests Region of Western Australia

Programme
Performance indicators

Special Structural Adjustment Package for the South West Forests Region of Western Australia

Effectiveness: Contribution to regional job creation and the economic diversification of the South West Forests Region.

Cost: $5 million

Location: South West Forests Region of
Western Australia.

Results based on performance indicators

Partially achieved

The South West Forests Region of Western Australia has been directly affected by changes to the timber industry. The aim of the Special Structural Adjustment Package is to diversify the economic base of the region and build on its competitive advantage by supplementing private and other investment in employment-generating projects.

  • Over 230 jobs are expected to be created through the eight approved and conditional projects under the South West Forests Region structural adjustment package.
  • The jobs will be in a wide range of industries, including construction, agriculture, aquaculture, tourism, information technology and manufacturing.
  • Only $1.894 million was expended in the 2001-02 financial year due to some projects not meeting funding criteria or still being under consideration, and some funded projects span several financial years.
  • The remaining $3.106 million has been rephased into the 2002-03 financial year.
  • Availability of funds remaining in the package will be readvertised early in 2002-03.

The locally-based advisory committee has recommend projects to the Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government that support long-term employment generation in the South West Forests Region of Western Australia.

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Rural Transaction Centres

Programme
Performance indicators

Rural Transaction Centres

Effectiveness: Small communities develop their own centres providing services such as banking, postal, internet, phone and fax, Medicare claim services and access to appropriate Federal, State and local government services.

Quality: RTCs report satisfaction with the programme.

Meeting expressed community need.

Cost: $18.4 million

Location: Regional, rural and remote communities of less than 3,000 residents.

Results based on performance indicators

Substantially achieved

The primary objectives of the Rural Transaction Centres (RTCs) Programme are those of improving access to services and meeting community expectations and needs across regional, rural and remote areas of Australia.

In terms of feedback, the post-implementation review of the programme in June 2002 indicated a very high satisfaction rate by communities in terms of the programme's effectiveness.

Nationally, 34 RTC projects meeting expressed community needs and 98 Electronic Point Of Sale (EPOS) RTCs were approved in 2001-02. This brings the total number of RTCs approved to 202. Of the 202, 52 RTCs and 98 EPOS RTCs are operational.

National average funded community size: 586; range: 90 to 3000 residents in regional, rural and remote communities. Programme expenditure for the period was $13.8 million. The remaining funds will be rephased for 2002-03 to meet existing commitments and future requirements. Part of this rephasing includes $5.5 million for the part-funding ($9 million) of the Connecting Australia-Report of the Telecommunications Service Inquiry (Besley Report) initiative, at the request of DOCITA.

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Understanding Rural Australia

Programme
Performance indicators

Understanding Rural Australia

Effectiveness: Improved availability of data on rural and regional social issues and trends.

Cost: $0.8 million

Location: Regional, rural and remote Australia.

Results based on performance indicators

Achieved

Improved availability of data on rural and regional social issues and trends through the completion and assessment of the 30 Understanding Rural Australia Programme projects initiated since 2001 was achieved. To ensure a wide dissemination, a number of the reports for these projects are available on the Department's website. In addition, programme funds were used to successfully establish a journal and Internet site for disseminating and discussing the results of research projects.

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2002 Year of the Outback

Programme
Performance indicators

2002 Year of the Outback

Effectiveness: Contribution to improved understanding of what the outback has meant to the nation's development and self-image.

Cost: $0.2 million

Location: Regional, rural and remote Australia.

Results based on performance indicators

Achieved

Timely funding provided through the Department to Outback 2002 Pty Ltd has significantly enhanced their capacity to successfully operate and promote this event, and contribute to improving Australia's understanding of what the outback means to the nation's development and self-image. The Federal Government provided $1.8 million to assist Outback 2002 Pty Ltd in 2001-02. Preliminary indications are that the event has achieved positive outcomes. Benefits include a marked increase in tourism and reported improvement in public awareness of the outback and its institutions, for example the operation of the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

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Regional and Rural Development Grant

Programme
Performance indicators

Regional and Rural Development Grant

Effectiveness: Improved stakeholder understanding of socioeconomic change in regional Australia.

Cost: $0.2 million

Location: Regional, rural and remote Australia.

Results based on performance indicators

Achieved

Stakeholders' understanding of socioeconomic change in regional Australia has been improved by the completion and examination of the seven Rural and Regional Development Grant projects initiated since 2001. Examples of these stakeholders include regional universities, CSIRO and numerous private companies. A number of the reports for these projects are available on the Department's website to help increase understanding of socioeconomic change.

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Regional and Rural Research Information and Data

Programme
Performance indicators

Regional and Rural Research Information and Data

Effectiveness: Improved availability to information for decision making in regional Australia.

Cost: $0.1 million

Location: Regional, rural and remote Australia.

Results based on performance indicators

Achieved

The Department improved availability of the information required for effective decision making in regard to regional Australia through the completion and examination of the five Regional and Rural Research, Information and Data Fund projects initiated since 2001. These were the University of New England-Symposium of Landscape Futures Project; CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems-Atherton Tablelands Futures Project; Bureau of Rural Sciences-Review of Regional Impact statements; Australian Bureau of Statistics-Postcode Concordance Project; and the Bureau of Rural Sciences-Mapping Commonwealth Regional Development Programmes. To enhance availability of relevant information, a number of the reports for these projects are available on the Department's website.

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Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal

Programme
Performance indicators

Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal

Effectiveness: Contribution to the formation of stronger partnerships achieved between the public and private sector in delivering services to rural communities.

Cost: $1 million

Location: Regional, rural and remote Australia.

Results based on performance indicators

Partially achieved

The formation of stronger partnerships between the public and private sector in delivering services to rural communities was enhanced through a number of Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) achievements. For example:

  • In May 2002, the first package of the Pratt Foundation and FRRR water projects, totalling around $250,000, was jointly announced. The partnership aims to assist in the development of strategies and practices that will help Australia to better manage its water resources in the future.
  • In June 2002, FRRR launched the Small Grants for Small Communities Programme in partnership with the William Buckland Foundation, Perpetual Trustees, the R E Ross Trust and the Myer Foundation. The programme will offer about $250,000 per annum in grants over the next three years. This collaborative approach is designed to make better, targeted use of funds improving access for rural and regional communities; provide a simpler application process; and enhance efficiency and effectiveness for philanthropic trusts and foundations that wish to support small communities.
  • FRRR has allocated around $1 million in grants for 25 projects in this financial year. Nineteen grant agreements were issued in the current financial year, with 16 of them being accepted by the grantees.

The Commonwealth contributed $19,098 in 2001-02 through its 'challenge grant' to help promote the revitalisation of regional communities through enhanced collaboration between businesses, communities and the Federal Government. This amount is less than originally envisaged however, the nature of the programme means that it will take some time for the level of corporate funding to ramp up to anticipated levels. It is expected that corporate donations will increase as FRRR continues to build partnerships with the private sector and raise awareness about its achievements in fostering partnerships with regional communities.

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Sustainable Regions Programme

Programme
Performance indicators

Sustainable Regions Programme

(PAESNew Measure)

Effectiveness: Local advisory committees in specific regions undergoing major economic, social or environmental change develop local strategies to enhance the sustainability of those programmes.

Quality: Stakeholder satisfaction with the programme.

Improved cross-portfolio and jurisdictional cooperation in addressing regional priorities.

Cost: $5.5 million

Location: Throughout Australia.

Results based on performance indicators

Partially achieved

The Sustainable Regions Programme assists regional communities to address priority issues they have themselves identified. The programme offers a planned, integrated approach to regions facing economic, social and environmental change. During 2001-02:

  • Locally-based advisory committees established under the programme have been established in all eight of the 'prototype' regions.
  • The local advisory committees' administrative arrangements and regional priorities have been developed in the later stages of 2001-02.
  • Stakeholders attended a one-day meeting at Parliament House to discuss the development of the programme and expressed their satisfaction accordingly.
  • The locally established advisory committees have consulted with regional communities to increase their participation in developing regional priorities.
  • The programme is promoting a whole of government response and seeking Federal and State agency assistance to source funds and focus initiatives that address the regional priorities determined by the locally-based advisory committees.
  • There has been strong commitment by a number of key agencies acknowledging the Sustainable Regions Programme in various policy development initiatives.

A total of $1.485 million was expended in the 2001-02 financial year. The remaining $4.015 million has been rephased for the 2002-03 financial year.

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Structural Adjustment Programme for the Wide Bay Burnett Region in Queensland

Programme
Performance indicators

Structural Adjustment Programme for the Wide Bay Burnett Region in Queensland

(PAESNew Measure)

Effectiveness: Contribution to regional job creation and the economic diversification of the Wide Bay Burnett region.

Cost: $4 million

Location: Wide Bay Burnett region of Queensland.

Results based on performance indicators

Achieved

The aim of the Structural Adjustment Programme for the Wide Bay Burnett Region Programme is to create employment opportunities in an area that has suffered persistent long-term unemployment and significant social disadvantage. Funding has been directed to new businesses or those wishing to expand, and to local government.

  • The total programme funding of $4 million has been allocated to 19 projects that are expected to create approximately 1,000 jobs in the region over the next five years.
  • The jobs will be in a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, tourism, information technology and agriculture.

A locally-based advisory committee assessed the applications and made recommendations to the Minister for Transport and Regional Services.

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Regional Assistance Programme

Programme
Performance indicators

Regional Assistance Programme

(PAESAdministrative Arrangements Order)

Effectiveness: Improved opportunities for sustainable employment, regional development and the enhancement of the skills base of regions including the Area Consultative Committee network.

Quality: Stakeholder satisfaction
with programme.

Quantity: Number and geographic spread of grants approved.

Cost: $24.2 million

Location: Regional, rural, remote and metropolitan regions.

Results based on performance indicators

Achieved

Regional Assistance Programme (RAP) funding is available for a wide variety of projects. This year the most common project categories were tourism, industry development, business retention and expansion, and agribusiness. The Area Consultative Committees (ACCs) network has continued to be a key component of the programme.

  • A recent survey of community perceptions of the Commonwealth's regional programmes showed the RAP to be one of the more recognised programmes.
  • A total of 278 projects was approved for funding during the year.
  • The majority of funds were approved for New South Wales (32 per cent) and Victoria (23 per cent), with remaining funds spread between Queensland (17 per cent), Western Australia (14 per cent), South Australia (10 per cent), the Northern Territory (4 per cent) and Tasmania (0.4 per cent).
  • The programme has spent $24.5 million, with money split between the ACC network and specific community projects.

Projects in rural, regional or remote areas accounted for 79 per cent of funding, with the remaining 21 per cent allocated to metropolitan areas.

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Dairy Regional Assistance Programme

Programme
Performance indicators

Dairy Regional Assistance Programme

(PAESAdministrative Arrangements Order)

Effectiveness: Improved opportunities for sustainable employment and regional development in dairy regions impacted upon by dairy deregulation.

Quality: Stakeholder satisfaction with
programme.

Quantity: Number and geographic spread of grants approved.

Cost: $17.9 million

Location: Dairy communities throughout Australia.

Results based on performance indicators

Achieved

The Dairy Regional Assistance Programme (DRAP) aims to assist dairy-dependent communities that have been impacted upon as a result of dairy deregulation.

  • A recent survey of community perceptions of the Commonwealth's regional programmes showed DRAP to be one of the most recognised programmes.
  • Funding is available for a wide range of employment-generating and investment-stimulating projects within dairy regions. In 2001-02, 126 projects were approved in local dairy communities across Australia, fully committing that financial year's allocation of $17.9 million.
  • The breakdown by State of funds approved is, in approximate figures, New South Wales (36.8 per cent), Queensland (38 per cent), Victoria (12.3 per cent), Tasmania (0.7 per cent), South Australia (10.3 per cent) and Western Australia (1.9 per cent).

In 2001-02, the programme spent $13.6 million however, over $30.85 million was committed.

These projects have created a significant number of jobs and stimulated over $100 million in cash co-funding contributions, most of which have come from private sector investment.

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Rural Domestic Violence

Programme
Performance indicators

Rural Domestic Violence

(PAESRephasing from 2000-01))

Effectiveness: Improved understanding of the incidence and reduction of domestic violence in regional and rural Australia.

Cost: $0.1 million

Location: Regional, rural and remote Australia.

Results based on performance indicators

Achieved

Operating under the Partnerships against Domestic Violence initiative, the three-year Rural Domestic Violence Programme was produced in three parts: a literature review, a case studies report and the analysis of the Supported Accommodation Assistance Programme (SAAP).

The report, Domestic Violence in Australia'a literature review, is a comprehensive summary of the facts known about domestic violence in regional Australia. The report has been distributed at conferences and to domestic violence service providers and to the public on request. The case studies booklet, Domestic Violence: Case Studies of domestic violence programs in regional Australia complements the literature review. All 16 cases demonstrate what regional groups can do to reduce domestic violence in their area. Analysis of the SAAP was undertaken to determine the geographic spread and level of access to services, as well as providing comprehensive information on providers of services in rural and remote areas. Information obtained from the analysis was used as supporting evidence in the literature review.

Feedback provided by funded service providers indicate that the programme has succeeded in increasing awareness of help and information available for those in domestic violence situations. While the Department's Rural Domestic Violence Programme is now complete, the Federal Government's $50 million Partnership against Domestic Violence initiative is continuing, with an appropriate regional focus.

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National Highway and Roads of National Importance Programme

Programme
Performance indicators

National Highway and Roads of National Importance Programme

New Measure

Effectiveness: Improved standard and effectiveness of transport facilities to assist economic growth across Australia's regions by upgrading National Highway and strategic freight
routes in States and Territories.

Quantity:

National Highway & Roads of National Importance

Number of road construction projects delivered during the year compared with the number projected to be completed.

Target: Not less than 90 per cent.

National Highway Maintenance

Percentage of National Highway length classified as acceptable.

Percentage of National Highway smooth travel exposure classified as acceptable (by percentage of vehicle kilometres exposed to less than 110 NRM*)

Target: Not less than 95 per cent.

Bridge Upgrading Programme

Number of projects delivered during the year compared with the number projected to be completed.

Target: 90 per cent

Cost: $1,032.2 million *NRM (Naasra Roughness Measure)

Results based on performance indicators

Achieved-National Highway and Roads of National Importance

There has been a 96 per cent completion rate of National Highway and Roads of National Importance projects that were expected to be completed this financial year. This has included construction projects such as the Don Interchange on the Bass Highway in Tasmania, the widening and rehabilitation of the Barkly Highway between Mount Isa and Cloncurry in Queensland, the rehabilitation of the Eyre Highway between Norseman and Cocklebiddy in Western Australia and the Bookham Bypass on the Hume Highway in New South Wales, amongst others. There has been some delay in the safety improvement works on the Western Ring Road in Victoria which are now expected to be completed in late 2002.

Achieved-National Highway maintenance

Reports from State and Territory Governments on 'smooth traffic exposure' on the National Highway indicate 96 per cent of the road is classified as acceptable weighted by traffic counts and link lengths.

Smooth travel exposure is the amount of traffic on roads with a roughness count of less than 110 NRM (Naasra Roughness Measure). NRM is the Australian standard for measuring roughness. Roughness is the key indicator of overall pavement condition.

Partially achieved-Bridge upgrading

The Federal Government is continuing to provide funding to ensure access of higher mass limit vehicles to key freight routes by upgrading bridges on the National Highway and providing assistance to State and local governments to upgrade bridges for which they have responsibility. In 2001-02 bridge upgrading on the National Highway and the completion of bridges on the Great Eastern Highway in Western Australia enabled the opening of the Perth to Melbourne route to higher mass limit vehicles. The Melbourne to Brisbane link was also opened to higher mass limit vehicles during the year.

The National Highway Bridge Upgrading Programme is due for completion in 2002-03. Some delays due to factors such as planning, native title issues and weather conditions have occurred in the Off-National Highway programme.

In 2001-02 the full appropriation of $1,020.86 million was spent on the National Highway and Roads of National Importance. The amount spent was the final amount appropriated for the programme following the 2001-02 Additional Estimates process.

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Flood Recovery Fund

Programme
Performance indicators

Flood Recovery Fund

New Measure-$8.5 million rephased from 2000-01 to 2001-02

Effectiveness: Minimises the economic and environmental impacts of severe and widespread flooding on rural towns and regional centres in the affected areas.

Cost: $8.5 million

Location: Central, Northern and North Coast New South Wales, and Southern Queensland.

Results based on performance indicators

Achieved

To provide extra assistance to communities affected by floods for clean-up, repairs and community services, the Department advertised the Flood Recovery Fund widely in flood-affected areas. We received a total of 188 applications of these, 139 were assessed as eligible for a total allocation of $3.4 million; 28 were assessed as ineligible; and 21 withdrew. The balance of funds was then reallocated to other Government priorities, in particular the Lismore Levee.

Councils and community organisations have reported great satisfaction with the assistance available from the fund. Recipients have expressed their appreciation of the programme via letters to the Minister and the Department, telephone messages and face-to-face thanks.

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Ex-gratia Disaster Relief Packages2001 Bushfire Relief Appeal

Programme
Performance indicators

Ex-gratia Disaster Relief Packages-2001 Bushfire Relief Appeal

(PAES-New Measure)

Effectiveness: Contribution to New South Wales bushfire disaster relief appeal.

Cost: $1 million

Location: New South Wales.

Results based on performance indicators

Achieved

Portfolio responsibility for Ex-gratia Disaster Relief Packages was transferred to the Department from the Department of Finance and Administration under the machinery of government changes in December 2001.

The New South Wales Bushfire Appeal Fund was established by the New South Wales Government to assist people affected by the fires during the Christmas period. A senior Departmental officer represented the Commonwealth on the assessment panel for the disbursement of the funds. The Fund is now closed.

The Department paid $1 million into the Fund, matching the contribution made by the New South Wales Government.

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Ex-gratia Disaster Relief Packages Helitankers

Programme
Performance indicators

Ex-gratia Disaster Relief Packages- Helitankers

(PAES-New Measure)

Effectiveness: Contribution to combating the Christmas 2001 bushfire crisis.

Cost: $0.8 million

Location: New South Wales.

Results based on performance indicators

Achieved

Portfolio responsibility for Ex-gratia Disaster Relief Packages was transferred to the Department from the Department of Finance and Administration under the machinery of government changes in December 2001.

The Department paid $0.685 million to transport two helitankers from the United States to assist New South Wales Christmas 2001 bushfire fighting efforts. Due to the urgency of the situation, air transport was arranged to bring the helitankers from North America.

The helitankers significantly bolstered the State and Territory aerial firefighting capability during the 2001 bushfire crisis.

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Flood Assistance Package Small Business Grants

Programme
Performance indicators

Flood Assistance Package-Small Business Grants

(PAES-Rephasing from 2000-01)

Effectiveness: Provision of assistance to small businesses affected by the major flood events of November 2000 and January to March 2001.

Quality: Reduced number of businesses failing due to the floods.

Cost: $2.6 million

Location: Central and northern New South Wales and southern Queensland.

Results based on performance indicators

Achieved

The Small Business Grants component of the Flood Assistance Package provided flood recovery assistance to small businesses affected by flooding in late 2000 and early 2001 in central and northern New South Wales and in southern Queensland. Originally scheduled to close on 1 June 2001, the programme was extended until 31 August 2001.

The programme was also expanded to include a Contract Grain Harvesters interest subsidy scheme as a result of the severe impact of crop failures on
the industry.

In 2001-02, a further 163 Small Business Grants as well as 47 Contract Grain Harvester claims were approved, amounting to more than $1.5 million in Federal funds. Over $4.5 million was approved in total during the two years of the Programme. These payments have allowed business to remain viable in difficult economic circumstances.

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Ex-gratia Disaster Relief Packages Sugar Industry

Programme
Performance indicators

Ex-gratia Disaster Relief Packages-Sugar Industry

Administrative Arrangements Order

Effectiveness: Provision of income support for sugar cane growers during a period of market downturn and crop degradation.

Cost: $2.9 million

Location: Queensland, Northern New South Wales and Western Australia.

Results based on performance indicators

Achieved

In December 2001, portfolio responsibility for Ex-gratia Disaster Relief Packages was transferred from the Department of Finance and Administration to the Department of Transport and Regional Services under the machinery of government changes.

This scheme to provide income support to eligible sugar cane growers commenced in August 2000. It was expected to close in June 2001 but was extended until 30 December 2001. There was a high level of uptake of this scheme by the sugar industry, and the full $2.9 million was expended.

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Last Updated: 27 February, 2013