Pictured: Mr Joyce at the new White Park equestrian precinct in Scone which has been funded for a new canteen and office under the Drought Communities Program.
Member for New England and Special Envoy for Drought Assistance and Recovery, Barnaby Joyce, is pleased to announce $738,000 for Upper Hunter Community Infrastructure Projects funded under the Liberal and Nationals Government’s $81 million Drought Communities Program.
This funding will assist Upper Hunter Shire Council to invest in modifications and enhancements to a range of community facilities which increase usability and functionality within the Shire, including:
- Purchase and installation of water filling stations
- Repairs and maintenance to Merriwa Youth Centre
- Disabled toilet facilities to be installed at Murrurundi Library
- Shade sails to be installed at Scone and Merriwa Pools
- Tennis court refurbishment at Merriwa
- Irrigation of Bill Rose Sports complex, Scone including well reticulation
- Installation of Adventure Challenge Course at Aberdeen
- Canteen and office installation at White Park, Scone
“I am proud to fight for communities like Merriwa, Aberdeen, Murrurundi or Scone – towns which are vital to the fabric of the New England electorate,” Mr Joyce said.
“This drought funding and ensuing construction work will help boost the economies of these towns at a time when they need it most, keeping people in jobs and money ticking through local communities.”
The Upper Hunter was also recently approved for $54,400 for a drought co-ordinator position. More than $7.5 million in Australian Government drought assistance has been delivered so far to New England councils under this program.
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 Upper Hunter region through the tough times,” Minister McKenzie, Deputy Leader of The Nationals, said.
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.