RIRDC has a charter to invest in research and development relating to national rural issues that affect agricultural industries and rural communities and the key objective of the Dynamic Rural Communities Program is to provide R&D that builds capacity in people, industries and communities across rural Australia, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
This plan for the Dynamic Rural Communities Program is an update based on experience in the first two years of investment.
The Program is investing in research and development that finds innovative ways to:
1. enhance future labour supply to meet demand in primary industries for skilled occupations including researchers;
2. develop leadership and human capacity in primary industries and rural communities;
3. improve the health and safety of people working in primary industries;
4. support the participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australian rural development;
5. add value to information and communication infrastructure investments in rural Australia;
6. enhance the capacity of rural communities to manage economic, social and environmental changes; and
7. improve the productivity of natural resource use and conservation.
It is proposed that each of these objectives will be nurtured within the Dynamic Rural Communities R&D Program until they develop critical mass sufficient to warrant their own ‘stand alone’ R&D plan. For example, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Rural Development Research and Development Plan, 2010–15, is currently being implemented. A Trees for Climate Change Program or agroforestry initiative is being investigated as part of the natural resource management objective. Furthermore, a collaborative partnership of rural research and development corporations and the Department of Health and Aging is investing in a Farming and Fishing Health and Safety R&D Plan for the years 2008–12.
The Dynamic Rural Communities R&D Program is funded through a RIRDC core allocation from the Australian Government. This core allocation is enabling leverage of collaborative funding from institutions with a shared interest in rural communities R&D. This five-year plan is built on a commitment to effectively engage stakeholders in identifying future R&D priorities, developing collaborative approaches, and communicating, extending and applying research outcomes.