Random Analytics: RDAF Rd 4 Analytics (WIP as at 24 Jul 2013)

by Shane Granger

From mid-June 2013 announcements by the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport commenced in relation to the Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF) Round 4 series of grants.

An overview of RDAF Round 4 from the Department website:

The government has announced a large strategic package to support the immediate and critical needs of regional Australia. This funding is supported by the proceeds of the Minerals Resource Rent Tax. Round Four of RDAF is a key element of this package and provides $175 million in grants to strategic infrastructure projects in regional Australia, with the maximum grant being $15 million.

Funding from Round Four will be provided to the highest priorities of communities, and seek to improve liveability and the sense of community. Regional Development Australia committees will again play a key role, identifying projects to proceed to full application. These projects will be selected because they best meet the needs of the regions, address priorities in the committee’s Regional Plans, and deliver real benefits to regional Australians.

For those interested in the RDAF Round 4 grants series here are some analytics of the 41-grants that have been announced. Four projects have been officially notified since Kevin Rudd was confirmed in his second term as Prime Minister.

RDAF Round 4 Funding by Allocation & Population Centre

01 - RDAFRd4_FundsbyPopCentre_130724

This chart looks at three items.

The inner ring is a split between funding to capital and non-capital cities. To be clear all State or Territory capitals including Kingston, Norfolk Island are considered capitals.

The secondary ring breaks down the funding by the size of the population centre that it is being deployed in. Population size is based upon Australian Bureau of Statistics Census 2011 data and then allocated to one of five categories. The categories are:

  • Town: A town or a rural region with a population under 10,000
  • Regional Centre: A small city or rural centre with a population between 10,001 and 30,000
  • City: A city or regional centre with a population between 30,001 and 100,000
  • Large City: A city with a population between 100,001 and 500,000
  • Metropolis: Any city with a significant urban area greater than 500,000.

The outer ring shows the over allocation of funding. The amount of funding for Round 3 (Regional) was originally set at $50-million and Round 4 was $175-million as per the Ministers Forward. RDAF Round 3 was under allocated approximately 19.5-million in funding while RDAF Round 4 currently has an over allocation of $20.2-million (11.6%).

RDAF Round 4 Funding by State

02 - RDAFRd4_FundsbyState_130724

The next chart looks at current funding by State.

Norfolk Island, a self-governing external territory of Australia won a single project worth $13-million as part of RDAF Round 4. As at 24 July 2013 the data.gov.au website stated that:


RDA South Coast includes the external territory of Jervis Bay. In previous data releases, Lord Howe Island (part of the ABS Unincorporated NSW) was part of RDA Northern Rivers. On the 16 of August 2011, Lord Howe Island declared to be represented by Mid North Coast.

On the 28 of May 2012, there were major changes to 4 RDA boundaries with Bland moving from RDA Central West to RDA Riverina and Tumbarumba moving from RDA Southern Inland to RDA Murray.

Norfolk Island IS NOT part of any RDA.

Note: This infographic was created using Tableau Public.

Round 4 Funding by Political Party

03 - RDAFRd4_FundsbyPolParty_130724

This chart looks at funding by political party and includes funding to Norfolk Island which is an independent territory (thus politically unaffiliated).

The National Party slice includes funding that was allocated to O’Connor, which is held by Tony Crook of the WA National Party (technically a different party).

Since Kevin Rudd commenced his second term as Prime Minister five new projects have been announced with $29.05-million in total funding. All five projects have gone to ALP held seats and one of those projects, the Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange has previously received $7-million funding as part of RDAF Round 2.

Round 4 Funding by 2 Party Preferred

04 - RDAFRd4_Fundsby2PP_130724

The next chart looks at funding by how safe the seat is considered. The Australian Electoral Commission states that Divisions with a 2-party preferred (2PP) percentile of 60% or greater are safe, those between 56 – 60% are fairly safe and those between 50 – 56% are marginal. Where a seat is considered marginal (based on 2010 election results) I have split into Labor, Coalition and Independent.

Round 4 Funding by Electorate

05 - RDAFRd4_FundsbyElectorate_130716

The following chart looks at the top ten electorates or external territories that have been funded.

Although filled with The National Party logo the Division of O’Connor is technically held by the WA National. The current sitting member, Tony Crook, has stated that he wanted to be treated as an Independent during most of his term although will be resigning from federal politics at the next election.

Eden Monaro was one of five projects to have received enough funding after Kevin Rudd commenced his second term to be included in the top 10 ten electorates by funding allocation.

Round 4 Funding by Employment Sector

06 - RDAFRd4_FundsbyEmploySector_130724

The second last chart looks at funding by employment sector. I have created a similar selection to that implemented by Seek but have amended to reflect a regional development framework and focus. The employment sectors focus on the longer term operational outcome of the funding, not its infrastructure or implementation phase(s).

Currently several employment sectors have not received funding in this round including:

  • Mining, Resources & Energy;
  • ICT;
  • Education & Training;
  • Construction;
  • Call Centre & Customer Services; and
  • Banking & Financial Services.

Round 4 Funding by Regional Development Australia (RDA) Region

06 - RDAFRd4_FundsbyRDA_130716

The final chart looks at the top dozen RDA Regions by allocated funding (with additional State and Territory detail represented by relevant flag) .

Final Thoughts

I’ll continue to update this article as more projects get announced.

Declaration of Interest: I have utilised only publically sourced information and all analysis and views expressed are my own and do not reflect that of any employer or organisation that I am associated with.

Note: My previous posts on Regional Development funding can be found at:

Update (19/06/2013)

  • Updated all graphs/infographics after 9-projects were announced via the RDAF Round 4 Department page.

Update (20/06/2013)

  • No new data. Upgraded Funding by State to a Tableau Infographic and added Norfolk Island detail.

Update (24/06/2013)

  • No new data. Upgraded Funding by RDA Region by adding State or Territory flags.

Update (16/07/2013)

  • Updated all graphs/infographics after 4-projects were announced via the RDAF Round 4 Department page.

Update (24/07/2013)

  • Updated all graphs/infographics (with exception of Funding by Seat & RDA Region) after a single project was announced via the RDAF Round 4 Department page. Additionally, included a Funding by Employment Section.