The Australian Government is continuing to back drought-affected communities, with three projects in the New England sharing in more than $1.2 million in federal funding under the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal’s Tackling Tough Times Together program.
Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said the Government was pleased to provide $36,500 for Sunnyside Hall Management Committee in Tenterfield, $17,320 for Murrurundi Men's Shed and $17,973 for Gwydir Fitness Centre.
"The Tackling Tough Times Together program has a range of benefits, including keeping money flowing through shops and suppliers and creating jobs for New England communities that have been disadvantaged by drought,” Mr Joyce said.
“It’s great to see this funding put to good use at Sunnyside Hall with the replacement of its roof and guttering. This builds on a $12,500 grant we delivered for the Hall earlier this year to upgrade its kitchen.
“At Murrurundi, the men’s shed will utilise its funding for more extensions to complement more than $10,000 in upgrades funded by the Australian Government over recent years, and a major redevelopment of the nearby Rosedale Complex.
“Gwydir’s grant will be invested in exercise equipment at Warialda and Bingara community gyms, which follows delivery of more federally supported drought projects for Bingara such as a new swimming pool and street make-overs.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the latest funding, under the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal’s Tackling Tough Times Together program, came at a critical moment in regional Australia’s economic recovery.
“Regional communities are tough and they’re strong – our people have seen the challenges of drought, bushfires, floods and now a global pandemic and they are rallying,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“Drought is only truly broken after 18 to 24 months of sustained good rainfall and we know so many communities have not yet had that.
“That’s why we committed $15 million for the Tackling Tough Times Together program, supporting hundreds of projects run by local groups in drought-affected regional communities.
“The Federal Government is backing regional Australia every step of the way to ensure communities bounce back stronger than ever.”
Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said Tackling Tough Times Together supports families and businesses in regional communities through the stress of the drought by driving economic activity and investing in local infrastructure.
“Many projects funded this round will provide relief and assistance to volunteers, get more members of the community out and about and upgrade community spaces and infrastructure, making life that bit easier in drought-affected regional communities,” Minister Littleproud said.
“That is why we are proud to continue supporting the Foundation’s important work at such a critical time, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with these local groups to help deliver crucial projects that will strengthen regional economies and social bonds in drought-affected communities.
“With money already flowing through rolling grants as part of our more than $10 billion drought support package, we are doing what it takes to help regional communities through this uniquely tough year.
“I again call on all eligible community groups to apply for ongoing funding available under the Tackling Tough Times Together program to bring their much-needed initiatives to fruition.”
More information on the Tackling Tough Times Together program can be found by visiting the Australian Government Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications website at regional.gov.au/regional/programs