Regional Development Australia links support to need on Mid North Coast

RDA Mid North Coast Innovation and Media manager Russell Pell, director Kerry Grace and chair John O'Neill

RDA Mid North Coast Innovation and Media manager Russell Pell, director Kerry Grace and chair John O'Neill

THE WORK of a local network in providing 'intel' on how the Mid North Coast is coping with the coronavirus pandemic fallout has been feted by the Australian Government.

Regional Development Australia (RDA) Mid North Coast has been working with the Commonwealth to identify local challenges and opportunities in the COVID-19 environment.

Led by chair John O'Neill, RDA Mid North Coast's engagement with their community, businesses and all levels of government has been vital in identifying emerging issues throughout the crisis and opportunities for the recovery phase.

"RDAMNC staff and our committee are connected with the communities of our region and we are conscious of nurturing these relationships. These connections exist with businesses in all major industries and all levels of government and are of great importance to help understand the issues that the Mid North Coast is currently facing," Mr O'Neill said.

That grassroots connection on the Mid North Coast has been celebrated by Assistant Minister for Regional Development, Nola Marino, who described the local RDA's response as outstanding.

"Having our efforts and various initiatives recognised by Minister Marino and the department is a positive recognition of our work on the Mid North Coast and we look forward to continuing our work with the Federal Government and the region's stakeholders as we move into the future," Mr O'Neill said.

"This work is important to managing impacts and ensuring communities and businesses are able to get back on their feet as quickly as possible."

Key activities being undertaken by RDA MNC include:

  • Developing the My Future Workforce online employment platform to link job seekers with employers and supporting services;
  • Working with RDA Northern Rivers to explore the challenges facing employers and employees across both regions, and identifying possible solutions and catalysts for change;
  • Establishing a Regional Business Connect Facebook group to share timely information and offer support. More than 80 business mentors from across Australia have joined the site and have been providing support;
  • Recording a series of interviews with representatives from local government and business and offer support.

"Since late March I have been holding regular teleconferences with RDA representatives three times a week. These conversations provided first-hand insights into how local communities are coping, and the impact and effectiveness of government response measures," Minister Marino said.

"This local intelligence is provided directly to government ministers and agencies to inform policy-making.

"I want to thank the RDA Mid North Coast committee members and staff for their work in driving positive change in your local communities.''

If you would like to learn more about how RDA Mid North Coast is able to assist you, visit its website at

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This story Guiding us out of the COVID-19 woods first appeared on The Macleay Argus.