Water supply improvements, town streetscape refurbishments and a new swimming pool are among the latest projects announced for Bingara and district under its second $1 million instalment of the Australian Government’s Drought Communities Program.
Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said the new projects will be undertaken by Gwydir Shire Council and follow delivery of an initial $1 million each for all 10 local government areas in the New England.
The first round delivered new asphalt to local roads around Bingara and improvements to the Gwydir River foreshore among other projects which helped spur economic recovery from drought in the region.
The second $1 million investment in drought relief for Gwydir will deliver community facilities and infrastructure upgrades throughout the Shire. In the New England that includes:
• upgrades to the Upper Horton water supply (drilling a new bore, installing water tanks and installing pipework to underground);
• streetscape improvement works in Bingara and Warialda (tree planting and installation of bins, street furniture, disabled footpaths, ramps and hand railings; and
• construction of a new swimming pool in Bingara.
Mr Joyce said the funding will build on the community confidence following recent rain and help support economic recovery from drought.
“The effects of this drought on farmers and communities in the Gwydir Shire are far from over,” Mr Joyce said.
“That’s why we are continuing to roll out support like this which will create jobs, improve local infrastructure and keep money ticking through our towns, no matter the circumstances.
“We are here for communities like Bingara and the surrounding villages - be it from drought, flood or now Coronavirus - and we will be here to support them for as long as it takes.”
Gwydir Shire Council General Manager, Max Eastcott, welcomed the announcement of funding for the projects.
“Council is excited to have the ability to expand upon the wonderful work that was completed in Round One of the Federal Government's Drought Communities Programme,” Mr Eastcott said.
“The community works' projects adopted in Round 2 again enables Council to employ residents who are affected by the drought but also outsource specialist work to local businesses. These projects will have a positive impact on our community with an initial direct injection of funds along with a continual contribution to the economic activity of our Shire."
The Coalition Government has committed $300 million over four years to the Drought Communities Program Extension, to facilitate immediate economic stimulus in communities facing hardship and support projects that provide local employment to keep money invested in local shops and suppliers.