02 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 $408,220 for Lake Inverell and Ashford Cemetery Amenities upgrades,” Mr Joyce said.

“The funds will provide for the construction of new wheelchair-accessible amenities at Lake Inverell Reserve and at Ashford Cemetery. The project will benefit more than 70 percent of the shire’s population and provide a more enjoyable experience for more than 3,000 visitors to Inverell Shire each year.

“I also welcome the $432,667 for the Inverell Pump Track.”

Mr Joyce said, “The project will construct a concrete pump track in community parkland on the edge of the Inverell CBD. The site adjoins Inverell’s town-wide cycleway, skatepark and riverside parklands. The project will contribute to Inverell Shire’s disaster recovery by restoring social and physical wellbeing.”

Inverell Shire Council will also share in over $900,000 for Anglicare’s Road to Recovery, a program designed to build community capacity and foster disaster resilience.

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 http://www.recovery.gov.au/our-community/local-bushfire-recovery-projects

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