Community facilities in Wollomombi will receive a $240,000 upgrade as part of Armidale Regional Council’s redirection of funding from the State and Federal governments to the surrounding villages.
Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, welcomed the new funding arrangements which include $140,000 for a new toilet block in the village of Wollomombi as well as $100,000 for a new children’s playground.
“Our villages are entitled to have access to modern facilities just as much as the big centres in the New England,” Mr Joyce said.
“As a former pupil of Woolbrook Primary School, I know what it means to grow up in a small community and how projects like this can deliver lasting benefits for local people.
“I’m pleased to see the needs of villages like Wollomombi, Ebor, Ben Lomond and others are being met, ensuring they receive their cut of infrastructure funding being provided by the Australian Government.”
Former Interim General Manager David Kerr, Acting General Manager John Rayner and Interim Administrator Viv May raised concerns about Council’s allocation of State and Federal, bushfire, drought and COVID stimulus funding because it disproportionally favoured the centres of Armidale and Guyra at the expense of the regional villages.
As a result, Mr May said funding is now being redirected to the villages.
“Drought, bushfires and now COVID have had a significant impact in our smaller rural areas and they deserve a share of the funding on offer from the State and Federal governments,” Mr May said.
Other projects in the Armidale shire to receive support so far under council’s reallocation of State and Federal funding include $75,000 for a new playground at Wards Mistake, $100,000 to upgrade the Rural Fire Service facilities at Lower Creek, $60,000 for painting and repairs to Ben Lomond railway station as well as $120,000 for village improvements at Ebor including church hall renovations and a bore at the sportsground.
From the Australian Government, Armidale Regional Council has been provided $1.03 million for bushfire related recovery projects, $2 million for infrastructure projects through the Drought Communities Program and $3.1 million under the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program to support local economies recover from the effects of COVID-19.