King of the Ranges (KoR) committee members Margaret Kelaher and Bronnie Johnson, Upper Hunter Shire Mayor Maurice Collison and Director of Infrastructure Nicholas Havyatt, MP Barnaby Joyce, KoR Treasurer Errol Dutton and President Earl Kelaher.
Residents in the Upper Hunter will benefit from a further $1 million in Australian Government funding to support community infrastructure and other drought-relief projects through the expanded Drought Communities Program.
The latest funding included $250,000 to upgrade to canteen at Murrurundi’s Rosedale Complex; $210,000 toward the construction of a campdraft arena at White Park, Scone; $120,000 for new toilets at Abbotsford Park, Wingen; $150,000 to upgrade Rouchel tennis courts; $100,000 for fire control measures at Moonan Flat Hall; $70,000 to refurbish Gundy tennis courts; $50,000 to establish a river walk in Aberdeen and $25,000 to construct a new barbecue area at Merriwa Pool.
Federal Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said the Drought Communities Program was supporting local economies through the tough times caused by drought.
“This program is so important for the Upper Hunter because it helps keep people in work, businesses in trade and the money ticking through cash tills around town,” Mr Joyce said.
“It builds on $1 million we’ve already delivered for the Upper Hunter under round 1 of the Drought Communities Program and a further $1.2 million recently announced for the Shire to fund infrastructure-building initiatives designed to support local economies struggling under the effects of COVID-19.
“It’s all helping to drive the community dollar further in towns like Scone, Aberdeen, Merriwa and Murrurundi, drawing on local resources and suppliers to increase spending and support people and businesses across the Upper Hunter.”
Upper Hunter Shire Mayor Maurice Collison welcomed the latest round of DCP funding.
“These are substantial financial inputs spread across the shire including smaller villages. The projects provide local employment and real infrastructure improvements for communities,” Cr Collison said.
Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud MP said the program would create jobs for people struggling to find work because of drought.
“This investment is a great local example of how this Liberal Nationals Government is delivering long-lasting benefits to communities and the agricultural communities on which they depend through investment in both the DCP and our broader drought support package,” Minister Littleproud said.
Drought Communities Program Round 2 – Upper Hunter Shire Council
1. Wingen Abbotsford Park new toilet blocks $120,000, upgrading toilet facilities to meet disabled access guidelines, including connections to the new wastewater treatment system, installation of a water storage tank to meet water supply needs, and construction of a storage shed.
2. Construction of a campdraft arena at White Park, Scone $210,000 (Total project cost of $414,000 includes Council contribution $204,000).
3. Murrurundi Rosedale Canteen Upgrade $250,000: demolition of existing canteen structure and construction of new canteen, food service and storage area including an all-weather covered area in front of the canteen at Rosedale Complex.
4. Merriwa Pool barbecue area $25,000: demolition of existing barbecue facilities and construction of new facilities with a double electric barbecue, seating and shelter at Merriwa Pool.
5. Aberdeen river walk $50,000: construction of a river walk by developing an existing track that circles the perimeter of Jefferson Park in Aberdeen including signage, seating and stabilising of problem areas with additional gravel.
6. Moonan Flat Hall tank and pipes from river, for fire control $100,000: installation of a solar pump and irrigation works to supply water from the Hunter River to the new storage tanks at Moonan Flat Community Hall.
7. Rouchel tennis courts upgrade to concrete $150,000: resurfacing and upgrading tennis courts for multi-purpose use.
8. Gundy tennis courts upgrade $70,000: resurfacing and upgrading tennis courts for multi-purpose use.
9. Creation of an Adverse Event Plan $20,000.
10. Projects audit $5,000.