A water treatment plant upgrade, refurbishments to community halls and improvements to amenities facilities are among the latest projects announced for the Walcha region under its second $1 million instalment of the Australian Government’s Drought Communities Program (DCP).
Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said the new projects will be undertaken by Walcha Council and follow delivery of an initial $1 million each for all 10 local government areas in the New England. The first round delivered Walcha Showground’s new function centre and other projects which helped spur economic recovery from drought in the region.
The additional $1 million investment in drought relief for Walcha features projects with a specific focus on improving water and community infrastructure including:
• installation of a chlorine mixer and SCADA system at the Walcha Water Treatment Plant and a back up power supply;
• upgrading the Ingelba Hall and installation of a small outdoor play facility;
• construction of a new men’s, women’s and disabled toilet block at the Nowendoc Rest Stop;
• upgrading the Stampede Ground at Woolbrook including extensions to the canteen;
seating area, bird proofing, repairing damaged flooring and replacing boundary fences;
• upgrading the Yarrowitch hall, including the installation of a water tank and general repair works;
• improvements to general community infrastructure including the Lions Park toilet;
facilities, installation of bin surrounds, installation of public drinking fountains at Walcha
parks and top dressing the Peter Fenwicke Oval.
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 like Walcha 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 doing it tough - be it from drought, bushfire or now Coronavirus - and we will be here to support them for as long as it takes.”
Walcha Mayor Eric Noakes thanked the Federal Government for its continued support.
“The Walcha community is grateful for the continued support of the Federal Government and lobbying by local member Barnaby Joyce for the DCP funding to allow the continued refurbishment of local infrastructure,” Cr Noakes said. “It is these initiatives that keep communities like ours optimistic in tough times.”
The Coalition Government has committed $300 million over four years to the DCP 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.