Barnaby Joyce

Drought support delivers extra $1 million for Armidale community

09 Mar 2020

Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, has announced an additional $1 million investment in drought relief for Armidale Regional Council to deliver local community infrastructure upgrades. 

Funding is being provided under the Australian Government’s Drought Communities Program (DCP) Extension and follows delivery of an initial $1 million each for all 10 local government areas in the New England. 

Recent $1 million funding will include projects: 

-    Improved Vehicle Access to Castle Doyle Agribusinesses. The project will replace an existing timber structure with a concrete structure including the construction of a temporary side track; the demolition of the existing structure; and the construction of a reinforced concrete structure at Shingle Hut Creek.

-    Armidale Library "Coffee Talk" Alterations: The project will modernise the existing Armidale Regional Library to broaden the customer base and to extend visitation duration by the provision of coffee and cafe food options. The project will involve alterations to the existing building to permit access for commercial mobile cafe vans to cater for patrons.

Mr Joyce said the funding will build on the community confidence following recent rain and help support economic recovery from drought.

“The effects of this drought on farmers and communities like Armidale are far from over,” Mr Joyce said.

“That’s why we are continuing to roll out support like this which will create jobs, improve local infrastructure and keep money flowing through our towns.

“We are here for communities doing it tough and will be here to support them for as long as it takes.”

Armidale Regional Council Mayor Cr Simon Murray said the Federal Government’s funding support will assist Council in providing upgrades to infrastructure that will create a tangible benefit for primary producers in our region and enhance social interaction for the community.

“The funding support is a vital step in ensuring our region is best placed to deal with the harsh effects of the drought over a prolonged period,” Cr Murray said. 

“The drought has not broken but there is a renewed sense of optimism since widespread, above average rainfall has fallen. We now need to provide economic and social stimulus to set a course of renewal and support our region through recovery.” 

The Government has committed $300 million over four years to the DCP Extension, to facilitate immediate economic stimulus in communities facing hardship and support projects that provide local employment and keep money flowing through local shops and suppliers.

(ENDS)