Western Region Institute doubles funding

Big plans: Western Research Institute chairman Mark Burdack said the Inland Research Fund will assist inland communities and promote investment. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

Big plans: Western Research Institute chairman Mark Burdack said the Inland Research Fund will assist inland communities and promote investment. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

The Western Research Institute has committed $100,000 to the Inland Research Fund which it says will be vital to assist regional communities.

WRI proposed the fund in 2016, and initially planned to contribute $50,000 to begin research into “exploring the opportunities and challenges of inland communities, particularly smaller rural and remote communities”.

It was announced earlier this week at an event in Dubbo attended by Parkes MP Mark Coulton and business and regional development stakeholders from across the region the amount would be increased to $100,000.

“WRI has been an important partner in bringing new investment into our region, and helping regional businesses and organisations identify strategic priorities and improve decision making.

“By delivering consistent and high-quality research and advice, we have built a reputation with government, funders and industry for credibility and reliability which cannot be matched”.

Mr COulton gave his backing to the IRF, which will begin operating formally in 2018.

“I commend the Institute’s commitment to the Inland Research Fund. This is an excellent initiative of the Western Research Institute and one that will deliver strong outcomes for the community and economy of Western NSW,” he said.

WRI Deputy Chair, and Managing Director of Dubbo-based Regional Enviroscience, Juliet Duffy said it was an example of the work the institute does to assist inland communities.

“Our clients know that when they use WRI, they are supporting jobs in the regions and contributing to the development of research that will benefit our economies for decades to come,” she said.

WRI provides economic modelling, grant writing, strategic and business planning, and training and development for regional businesses and organisations.

It aims to invest part of its surpluses each year into the Inland Research Fund to ensure that inland Australia can generate an evidence base for good public policy, and has a stronger voice in future public policy development.