Member for New England and Special Envoy for Drought Assistance and Recovery, Barnaby Joyce, is pleased to announce Glen Innes Severn Council has secured nearly $300,000 in additional funding under the Liberal and Nationals Government’s $81 million Drought Communities Program.
This brings the total funding secured for Glen Innes under this program to nearly $1 million.
Council will draw on $120,194 provided by the Federal Government to construct a shared bicycle/walking pathway connecting an existing pathway from the western side of Glen Innes and Melling Park to King Edward Park and King George Oval and the central business district. The pathway will allow for safe, community access the central park-lands area and the central business district.
A further $100,000 will be used to fund a Drought Support Officer Role to facilitate rural community support programs and events. The full-time staff member will help landholders access all forms of drought assistance available.
Additionally, $39,961 will be utilised for a Community Drought Relief Event. Billed as a family-friendly, fun and educational drought community relief event, it hopes to draw locals and visitors from nearby towns and regional centres to Grey Street with stalls, service providers, food, drink and entertainment to provide an economic boost for the town.
Drought Communities Program funding is intended to provide short-term support to drought towns, including by boosting local employment and procurement, and addressing social and community needs.
“This is critical funding that will help ease the burden on communities like Glen Innes, like Deepwater and other areas doing it tough during this drought,” Mr Joyce said.
“It’s going to help drive the community dollar further in our towns and villages, drawing on local suppliers to increase spending with local businesses.
“I’ve been standing up in my joint party room, fighting for those on the land, driving this agenda on drought and it is great to be delivering on that action for people in Glen Innes.”
Minister for Regional Services, Local Government and Decentralisation Bridget McKenzie said rural Australians show their true colours when times are tough, and for many across New England, and much of NSW and Queensland have seen successive tough seasons.
“Drought has taken a heavy economic and emotional toll across much of eastern Australia. It will take several seasons for things to turn around but these projects will help stimulate the local economy by generating new income, helping the Liverpool Plains region through the tough times,” Minister McKenzie, Deputy Leader of The Nationals, said.
“With regional Australia accounting for around two-thirds of our exports and employing hundreds of thousands of Australians, supporting these communities now is a small price to pay to ensure we keep the economy growing.”
The Drought Communities Program supports communities in the most drought-affected regions of Australia and builds on more than $7 billion of Liberal National Government drought support measures.
In August 2018, the program was extended to provide support of $1 million to 60 eligible councils and in October a further 21 eligible councils were added to reach even more communities suffering through drought.
Funding is available to eligible councils for local infrastructure projects and other drought-relief activities.
For information on the Government’s Drought Communities Program, click here.
Existing funding for Glen Innes under the Drought Communities Program:
- $360,000 for the re-sheeting rural roads program
- $50,000 for the Deepwater Water Supply Stand Pipe Project, to install a stand pipe to allow farmers to fill up water tanks where before they would have had to drive to Glen Innes to access water
- $101,968 for the Melling Park toilet block installation.
- $106,468 for new amenities at Apex Park.