Regional Solutions for Local Problems
Much of what REROC undertakes could be described as finding regional solutions for local problems. However there are occasions when REROC will specifically establish a regional initiative in response to an identified problem. Examples of projects that REROC has initiated include:
1. Regional Youth & Community Development Network (YouthROC) - The role of the YouthROC is to support the work of local Youth Councils, which now operate in a number of member councils.
2. Addressing the Issue of Skills Shortages - The issue of skills shortages in local government is very real. REROC has worked on four projects that aim to address shortages. The projects are:
- Professional Placements Program (PPP) - A partnership arrangement with Charles Sturt University's Wagga Wagga Campus. The purpose of the PPP is to encourage students to undertake work experience in one of the REROC member councils.
- Recruitment of UTS Engineering Interns - aims to bring students to a REROC member council to undertake one of their compulsory six-month workplacements.
- Build a Bridge...and Get Over It! - A partnership project with The Compact (an industry-education link organisation). The project is a practical three day Camp that aims to encourage school students in Year10 to 12 to consider civil engineering as a career.
- C Change Bureau - this is a joint initiative between the Riverina Regional Development Board, Riverina Area Consultative Committee, State and Regional Development, MurrayROC, RivROC and REROC. The purpose of the project is to promote living and working in our regions to people living in Sydney and Melbourne.
3. Telecommunications - In response to on-going problems with the quality of telecommunications infrastructure across the region, REROC worked closely with the Riverina Regional Development Board in the establishment of Riverina first.The initiative directs funds into specific, locally identified telecommunications infrastructure projects across the Riverina region. Riverina first also has a philanthropic arm which provides small grants (normally between $1,500 and $5,000) to community groups.
4. Start Your Business Here - This project aims to facilitate business start-ups including home-based business in the REROC region, by making it easier to tackle the red tape associated with establishing a business. The project has been funded through AusIndustry's Regulation Reduction Incentive Fund.
5. Water Smart - Total Urban Water Management in the eastern Riverina - this $4 million project funded through the Environmental Trust and the member councils will address urban water management. Covering five themes: water harvesting, water quality, water conservation, salinity and environmental flows. As a result of the project 23 activities will be undertaken in 12 of the REROC LGAs and a further 3 projects will run on a regional basis.
6. EnviroSmart Business - This project will assist small business people to measure their environmental footprint. An on-line project it will provide businesses with the tool to determine not only the size of their footprint but also assist them to identify ways that their footprint can be reduced. The project addresses five environmental areas: water, energy, waste, air quality and general sustainability practices. It is anticipated that the project will be launched in October 2008. The project has been funded through the Australian Government's Building Entrepreneurship in Small Business Program.