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SEGRA Walks the Talk

June 2016 – Edition 17

SEGRA 2016 – Naturally Stronger Regions: Realising the Potential


26–28 OCTOBER 2016

SEGRA Challenge

Welcome to this Special SEGRA Challenge Edition of SEGRA Walks the Talk

The SEGRA Challenge was initiated at SEGRA 2013 in Coffs Harbour. This SEGRA Walks the Talk highlights some of the achievements and activities of the SEGRA Challenge projects. If you would like to know more or participate in a Challenge this year, please see the SEGRA Challenge Flyer

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Charles Sturt University Backs SEGRA Challenges

A big thank you to Charles Sturt University for their support of the SEGRA Challenges.

The University has allocated $100,000 for research projects in relation to the SEGRA 2015 Challenges.

  • How Might We Develop Startup / Innovation Ecosystems in Regional Australia?
  • How Might We Provide Secure and Safe Domestic Water for Rural and Remote Regions?

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SEGRA 2016 Challenges

Challenge 1 - How can we realise environmental qualities and maximise socio-economic realities for sustainable production landscapes futures?

The challenge will focus on:

  • what could be the biophysical, social and economic costs and benefits
  • what we can afford and why we need to invest
  • what we will be getting for our short and long term investments

An ecosystems services framework could be proposed with mappable spatial dimensions that provides $$ values in terms of costs and benefits. This framework could build on the work of NRM groups such as SEQC would take into account:

  • changing conditions in response to changing climatic conditions,
  • cost imposts of externalities by way of availability of diesel fuel and escalating prices
  • market demands for existing and new horticultural and agricultural products
  • demographic changes in population nodes across the basin in response to natural and market forces
  • renewable energy such as 24/7 CSP for irrigation pumping, commercial activities and domestic purposes
  • infrastructure realities in maintaining network infrastructure for transporting water, agricultural supplies and produce from the existing and emerging production landscapes

Challenge 2 - How might we work together to increase board, committee and management team diversity in regional and rural Australia?

Is your regional or rural management team, board or committee challenged by a lack of diversity?

In many rural communities boards and management teams lack a range of people from diverse backgrounds. This is not simply an issue of gender, which is commonly discussed, but also age and culture. Diversity brings a greater variety of perspectives, ideas and views which add value to discussion, and strength in communication, strategy development and delivery. It also significantly improves community engagement and effectiveness.

Join with us here and at SEGRA 2016 in the “Diversity Challenge” for discussion about the value of diversity; how regional, rural and remote communities are challenged by a lack of diversity and how we might work together to counter this ongoing issue.

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SEGRA 2015 Challenge Winner Update

The SEGRA 2015 Challenge winner was How Might We Develop Startup / Innovation Ecosystems in Regional Australia? led by Troy Haines of theSPACE from Cairns, Queensland.

Troy Haines

Mareeba Crowdfunders

Looking for some money? Got a great idea/project/cause? Need $$$ to get your business or your worthy cause up and running? Have a look at this!

Christine Doan, Paul Niederer and Troy Haines recently held a start-up and innovation event at Mareeba on the Tablelands as part of the Challenge implementation. This event encouraged young entrepreneurs to develop their skills and test their project ideas.

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SEGRA 2015 Peoples’ Choice Winner Update

The 2015 Peoples’ Choice winner was Etheridge Shire Council, led by CEO, Michael Kitzelmann.

Michael Kitzelmann

How Might We Provide Secure and Safe Domestic Water for Rural and Remote Regions?

Ensuring sustainable supplies of secure and safe domestic water is crucial for sustainable regional development. Australia wide the social and economic viability of many small towns and isolated communities in rural and remote regions is threatened by the inadequacy of domestic water supplies. Often, the limited quantity of poor quality water that is available for human consumption is an environmental threat to population health.

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How Might We Respond to Carbon in the Real World?

World-wide, many activists and headline seeking media commentators are demonising the terms ‘carbon’ and ‘coal’ with catch-all cries to for a “carbon free economy”, a “fossil fuel free world” and to “leave-it-in the ground”. Such demonising is being done in ignorance of what the words really mean in ecological, economic and social terms. Scant regard is being given to the reality that carbon is the foundation element of all forms of life on earth and that it is essential for the maintenance of the biophysical environment and our livelihoods and lifestyles.

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SEGRA 2013 Peoples’ Choice Update

Murray Darling Basin Challenge Initiatives

Four Areas for collaborative projects within MDB

Four areas for collaborative projects were identified at SEGRA 2015 through the Rural and Remote Regions Research Agenda and the Murray-Darling Round Table.

Community water planning. This would be a multi-agency project and could use a community focused participative approach similar to that used by the NWC for Indigenous communities. Product would include pictorial representation of supply and treatment systems.

Land use futures for the MDB. This would utilise a systems approach and cover issues such as governance, capital and investment, disruptive technologies and use tools such as (for example) the CSIRO land use change model, big data from TERN and the ‘Data Cube’.

Agriculture, industry and environment-Consumption verses conservation. What is the balance and who for? The approach could include overlay values mapping and net chain analysis. On and off farm adaptation strategies would be embedded in the approach.

The Basin in 50 years?Constructing futures using visualisation and scenario setting and back casting to project changes to production and conservation landscapes. This would have a policy maker thrust and encompass trade policy.

Deliberations at the Rural and Remote Regions Research Agenda and the Murray-Darling Round Table at SEGRA 2015 focused the urgency for:

Promoting and actioning a collaborative client focused and needs driven research, engagement, and communications agenda that is based on sustainable relationships between customers, investors and providers to support the implementation of the ‘Basin Plan’ from the ‘bottom up’

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People’s Choice 2014

Etheridge Shire Council has conducted two regional development forums and made significant progress in developing a strategic catalyst infrastructure plan and agricultural precinct.

Between conferences ESC has worked at local and regional scales on economic development and related strategies aimed at: ensuring resource optimisation; fostering economic consolidation; sustaining the social capital; and embracing technological take-up.

ESC has a geographic area of some 40,000 square kilometres and a population of about 1000 people. Their successes over the past year in documenting and promoting the diverse resource base and investment opportunities demonstrates what remote LGAs can achieve when there is focussed commitment and sound leadership. And sustained effort is continuing to bring opportunities to commercial realities and to ensure essential services, livelihoods and lifestyles in local towns and rural properties are secured, as reflected in ESCs success with the SEGRA 2015-16 Challenge.

Kate Charters, SEGRA Convenor and Senator Matt Canavan and Mayor Bill Atwood at the Forum

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Around the Regions

2016 Regional Development Australia National Forum

The Regional Development Minister Fiona Nash announced that the 2016 Regional Development Australia National Forum will be held on 25 October in Albany and will coincide with the SEGRA Conference 26-28 October.

While in Albany, Minister Nash met with:
• RDA Great Southern's Chairman Greg Stocks;
• Member for O'Connor Rick Wilson,
• RDA Great Southern member and SEGRA National Steering Committee's Cassandra Hughes; and
• RDA Great Southern's Executive Officer Simon Lyas

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