Drought-affected regional communities in the New England are set to receive a boost with $7.4 million for new local infrastructure and community projects.
The new funding forms part of a $207 million investment under Round 4 of the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s highly successful Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF).
Federal Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said the community-based projects were a positive investment in the region’s future.
“This is a fantastic outcome for the New England, with five projects receiving $7.4 million under this latest round of funding,” Mr Joyce said.
“These include a new hydrotherapy pool precinct in Armidale, an upgrade of Tenterfield’s water treatment plant, new infrastructure at Tamworth’s Intermodal Rail Hub, a lighting upgrade at Gwydir Oval in Bingara and a Future Jobs program at Glen Innes.
“All these projects will drive economic growth and local jobs at a time when we need them most, transforming communities and helping to ensure that our productive and vibrant region remains strong, resilient and prosperous into the future.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said this funding injection to support 163 new infrastructure and community projects across drought-affected regional Australia came at a critical time for communities.
“Regional Australians have endured the devastating effects of a prolonged drought which has affected communities across the country for many years,” Mr McCormack said.
“BBRF projects strengthen our local economies and drive much-needed local procurement, with thousands of jobs expected to be supported throughout regional Australia – delivering career pathways and enabling people to stay in the very communities they grew up in.”
Minister for Drought David Littleproud said it was important now more than ever for the Australian Government to continue supporting drought-affected regions.
“Through the BBRF, the Australian Government is continuing its long-standing commitment to regional Australia, making vital local projects a reality, driving economic development and creating stronger partnerships across our regional communities,” Mr Littleproud said.
“We have seen outstanding outcomes from the first three rounds of the BBRF and the drought-focused fourth round will continue that trend by funding critical local infrastructure projects.”
BBRF Round 4 project details – New England:
Project: Tenterfield Water Treatment Plant Replacement
Proponent: Tenterfield Shire Council
Grant Amount: $2,645,000
Project Cost: $9,645,000
Project Summary: The project will replace and upgrade the Tenterfield Water Treatment Plant (WTP).
Project: New England Regional Hydrotherapy Centre (NERHC)
Proponent: Armidale Regional Council
Grant Amount: $2,316,224
Project Cost: $3,773,819
Project Summary: The project will provide a new hydrotherapy pool precinct within the Armidale Monckton Aquatic Centre.
Project: Tamworth Intermodal Activation Plan - Phase I
Proponent: Tamworth Regional Council
Grant Amount: $2,202,291
Project Cost: $4,404,582
Project Summary: The project will construct roadways, a roundabout and utilities services linking access roads to a proposed intermodal freight hub in west Tamworth.
Project: Gwydir Oval Lighting Replacement
Proponent: Gwydir Shire Council
Grant Amount: $224,466
Project Cost: $449,000
Project Summary: The project will replace existing lights at the Gwydir Oval with LED sports luminaires.
Project: Future Jobs Growth & Local Skills Gaps Research Project
Proponent: Glen Innes Severn Council
Grant Amount: $84,200
Project Cost: $84,200
Project Summary: The project will deliver two research projects to identify the future growth possibilities and population drivers for the Glen Innes Severn local government area.