Massive Financial Win for New England

Massive Financial Win for New England

01 Jul 2021


Upgrades to facilities and enhancements to community spaces are on the way for the New England Electorate, which will share in over $31.5 million in Commonwealth and NSW funding for Local Economic Recovery projects. 

Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce said 21 allocations have been approved in the latest round of Bushfire Local Economic Recovery projects under the Local Economic Recovery program.

“I especially welcome the $8.7 million to Glen Innes Severn Council for stage one of the New England Rail Trail from Glen Innes to Ben Lomond. The Council will also receive more than $600,000 for the Highlands Business and Community Hub and Programs.

“Tenterfield is also a big winner receiving over $5.7 million to improve the Mt Lindsay Road and over $900,000 to provide a water supply for Tenterfield villages.

“Uralla Shire Council receives $925,000 to refurbish the old Uralla Court House while many of the New England Councils will share in almost $4 million for the Royal Far West Bushfire Recovery Program and over $900,000 for Anglicare’s Road to Recovery Program,” Mr Joyce said.

(A full list of the New Englnd allocations is below).

Mr Joyce, who is also the Minister Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, said the projects have a focus on drawing people to the region, supporting primary industries to enhance economic and social recovery, create jobs, and improve community resilience for future emergency events.

“All the projects have been put forward by the community, with funding focused on local solutions to local needs.

“These projects have been identified by the people of New England and will make a big difference locally, creating opportunities to increase tourism, employment and economic recovery, as well as  building community cohesion and making us more resilient in times of crisis,” Mr Joyce said.

They are the latest projects to be announced as part of a joint investment of more than $500 million in Local Economic Recovery, jointly funded by the Australian and NSW governments to support locally led bushfire recovery initiatives.

Funding for LER projects is just one of the initiatives supported by the Australian Government’s National Bushfire Recovery Fund. To date, more than $2.3 billion in Australian Government support has been provided to help bushfire affected communities, including $1.6  billion spent so far from the National Bushfire Recovery Fund. Over 80 per cent of the available funding has been used to help communities recover from the 2019-20 bushfires.

Details of successful local economic recovery projects in New South Wales – and across other states - are available on the National Recovery and Resilience Agency website at 


Lake Inverell and Ashford Cemetery Amenities Upgrade

The project will see the construction of new wheelchair-accessible amenities at Lake Inverell Reserve, on the eastern outskirts of Inverell, and Ashford Cemetery, in the shire's north. The project will benefit more than 70 per cent of the LGA's population and provide a more enjoyable experience to more than 3,000 visitors to Inverell Shire each year.


Inverell Shire Council

Inverell Pump Track

This project will construct a concrete pump track in community parkland located on the edge of Inverell CBD. The site adjoins Inverell's town-wide cycleway, skatepark and riverside parklands. The project will contribute to Inverell LGA's disaster recovery by restoring social and physical wellbeing.


Inverell Shire Council

Build a resilient and regenerative farming community in Tenterfield

The 2019-20 bushfires destroyed over 235,000 hectares in Tenterfield, or roughly a third of the total LGA. This project will engage the community in implementing regenerative agriculture practices to build a more resilient landscape and support local businesses. A Landcare Regenerative Agriculture Officer will lead a series of training events and workshops on innovation, diversification, the marketing of farm produce, and coping with future challenges. These will take place in person and online.


Tenterfield Shire Council

New England Rail Trail Stage 1 - Glen Innes to Ben Lomond

The Great Northern Rail Line between Armidale and the Queensland border has not had trains on it for 31 years. To revitalise this asset and generate economic growth through increased tourism, Glen Innes Severn Council will build Stage 1 (35.5km) of the New England Rail Trail between Glen Innes and Ben Lomond. The trail will provide a safe recreational location for cyclists and walkers, attracting around 4,000 overnight visitors and 4,000 day visitors, who will spend in excess of $1.6M annually at local businesses.


Glen Innes Severn Council

Provide a water supply for Tenterfield villages

The Tenterfield Sustainable and Disaster Resilient Communities program will provide a water source, and minor reticulation activities, for the villages of Drake, Liston, Legume, and Torrington. The reticulation will predominantly service pumps for groundwater/riverwater holding tanks and standpipe delivery systems, including solar systems. The project will  improve the community's resilience and ability to prepare and respond future disasters.


Tenterfield Shire Council

Highlands Business and Community Hub and Programs

The Highlands Business and Community Hub project will fitout a training facility to run workshops and programs, and enable more conferences and business events to be hosted in the local area. Programs conducted at the Hub will support a diversity of community needs including a start-up incubator.


Glen Innes Severn Council





Upgrade Walcha Lions Park

This project will install new play equipment, soft fall surfaces, seating, pathways, landscaping, and perimeter fencing in Walcha Lions Park. The upgrades will complement the existing barbeque and seating area installed by Walcha Lions Club, and will make the park a safer and more welcoming place.


Walcha Council

Renew Walcha Skate Park

This project will revitalise the Walcha State Park and surrounding precinct. It will replace existing skate ramps with skate elements for a range of abilities, provide landscaping, and install a half basketball court, seating, pathways, fencing, and surveillance technology.


Walcha Council

Refurbish the old Uralla Courthouse

This project will refurbish the old Uralla Courthouse, a heritage building from circa 1880 and key community asset to increase visitation and amenity to the Uralla community. The refurbishment will include roof repairs, painting, furnishings, asbestos removal, and the installation of flooring, a solar power system, fencing, doors, and electrical infrastructure.


Uralla Shire Council

Bush regeneration in the Upper Clarence

This project will see bush regeneration conducted by local Aboriginal teams on three fire-damaged properties: controlling weeds, replanting native species, installing nest boxes, and reinstating fire trails. In addition, the project will recover and reinstate a burnt Aboriginal scar tree of high cultural significance and organise relevant social and educational events.


Kyogle Shire Council, Tenterfield Shire Council

Tamworth Regional Business Activation and Resilience Program

This project will deliver a two-year program supporting businesses in the Tamworth region, which will include training in marketing, grant-writing, strategy, and financial literacy.


Tamworth Regional Council

Deliver training programs to young people in New England

This project will provide training and experience to 30 vulnerable young people in the New England region across the agriculture, construction, asset maintenance, and fabrication sectors.


Armidale Regional Council

Support bushfire-affected startups

This project will deliver in-depth business support to 90 of the most promising bushfire-affected startups. This will involve evidence-based training and international networking opportunities. Building off of the success of the Bega Valley Innovation Hub, the University of Wollongong will bring its iAccelerate program to 10 bushfire affected regions, including four Local Aboriginal Land Council areas.


Bega Valley Shire Council, Eurobodalla Shire Council, Goulburn Mulwaree Council, Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council, Snowy Monaro Regional Council, Tamworth Regional Council,  Tweed Shire Council, Wingecarribee Shire Council

Royal Far West Bushfire Recovery Program

This program addresses the mental health impacts of the 2019-20 bushfires, addressing developmental vulnerabilities that could place children at risk of long-term adverse outcomes. Royal Far West will provide speech, occupational therapy, and clinical psychology assessments, as well as therapy for children in need of long-term clinical interventions. This expanded program will also upskill teachers and parents to better respond to future disasters.


Bega Valley Shire Council, Bellingen Shire Council, Clarence Valley, Eurobodalla Shire Council, Glen Innes Severn Council, Kempsey Shire Council, Nambucca Shire Council.

Anglicare’s Road to Recovery: Building community capacity and fostering disaster resilience program

Anglicare’s Road to Recovery Program is a focused approach to engaging communities across the Shoalhaven, Queanbeyan-Palerang, and New England Local Government Areas. It will focus on hard-to-reach areas and provide individualised case management; the employment of local recovery workers; and community information sessions about post-trauma support.


Armidale Regional Council, Glen Innes Severn Council,   Gwydir Shire Council, Inverell Shire Council, Narrabri Shire Council, Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council, Shoalhaven City Council, Tamworth Regional Council, Tenterfield Shire Council, Uralla Shire Council, Walcha Council

Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association: Recovery & Resilience Program

Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association’s (HVWTA) Recovery & Resilience Program is based on industry research, consultation and feedback. The program is designed to address the adverse impacts of the 2019/20 bushfires. The goal of HVWTA’s program is to retain or create local jobs and ensure the industry remains viable in the long term. This tourism campaign will aim to improve destination perception, increase consumer demand, raise sales value, and boost domestic tourism.


Cessnock City Council,
Singleton City Council, Upper Hunter Shire Council

Improve Mt Lindesay Road

This region was significantly and directly impacted by 2019-20 bushfires and the Mt Lindesay Road serves as the only viable alternate emergency route when the New England Highway is closed. This project will fund the construction and sealing of 7.6km of Mount Lindesay Road (MR622) at two locations: Liston to Tenterfield (5.5km) and Cullendore Road to Legume (2.1km). The road is also a significant cross-border freight route between Tenterfield, Queensland, and Australia's east coast for horticultural products. The project will deliver improved safety, freight routes, increased tourism opportunities and provides an alternative emergency and evacuation route for the local communities.


Tenterfield Shire Council

A2E - Accelerating Event Economies

The A2E project aims to attract large events to the Hunter, accelerating job creation and economic recovery following the bushfires. The project will establish a task group; fund an events and opportunity audit; and develop resources including an event manager's toolkit, a prospectus, and a website.


Cessnock City Council, Dungog City Council, Lake Macquarie City Council, MidCoast Council, Muswellbrook Shire Council, Singleton City Council, Upper Hunter Shire Council





Armidale and New England Business Innovation Hub

The University of New England SMART Regional Incubator (SRI) will redevelop the old Armidale War Memorial Library into a business innovation hub. This will support regional start-ups that focus on agriculture, the environment, health, creative industries, renewable energy, and more.


Armidale Regional Council

Create Merriwa cycle and walkway

This project will construct approximately 4km of cycle and walkway paths in the township of Merriwa.  The new pathways will connect existing paths to the town's sporting facilities, including its skate park. The path will also incorporate the town's River Walk, enhancing community and visitor experiences.


Upper Hunter Shire Council

Restoring country, culture and community

The Great Eastern Ranges (GER) will work with its established regional partner networks to support the recovery of bushfire-impacted communities in the North Coast, the Blue Mountains, the South Coast, and the Far South Coast. The project will include employing rangers; assessing cultural and wildlife sites; a survey of local fauna populations; the installation of nest boxes; community engagement projects; and more.


Blue Mountains City Council, Eurobodalla Shire Council, Kyogle Council, City of Lithgow Council, Oberon Council, Richmond Valley Council, Shoalhaven City Council, Tenterfield Shire Council, Upper Lachlan Shire Council


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