19 Aug 2021

The Australian Government is continuing to back drought-affected communities, with projects across the nation to receive a share of more than $1 million under the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal’s award-winning Tackling Tough Times Together program.

In New England, the Northern Slopes Landcare Association - based in Upper Horton – will receive $16,975 for its Rural Women’s Catch-up.

Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce said the project aims to encourage more local involvement in the community by delivering a series of workshops in the Gwydir and Moree Plains areas, to help reduce social isolation.

“The Coalition is pleased to support the Foundation’s critical work of supporting drought-affected communities, as the regions continue their recovery from the impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and effects of natural disasters,” Mr Joyce Said.

"The Tackling Tough Times Together program has a range of benefits, including facilitating strong social cohesion, reducing volunteer fatigue and stimulating the local economy, which in-turn create capable communities and skilful leaders within our regions.” 

Mr Joyce, who is also the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development said this latest injection of Government support for 32 individual projects nationwide came at a critical time.

“This funding is being delivered directly to grassroots, community-led initiatives to benefit local communities that have been hardest-hit, providing immediate support as we continue to weather the impacts of the pandemic,” Mr Joyce said.

“The Australian Government’s $15 million commitment to the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal’s Tackling Tough Times Together Program is already supporting hundreds of projects run by local groups.”

Mr Joyce said, “While we’ve seen good rainfall in some parts of Australia, the impacts of drought are long-term and far-reaching, which is why it is vital the Government continues to back our regions to support a more secure and resilient Australia.”

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia, David Littleproud said a number of projects would deliver outcomes that boost community identity and sense of place, which is crucial for the wellbeing of Australia’s rural and remote communities.

“This Government has provided over $11 billion since 2018-19 to assist farmers, regional businesses and communities experiencing drought and this is just one commitment that provides immediate support to those communities as they bounce back from the effects of drought,” Mr Littleproud said.

“The Tackling Tough Times Together program is a rolling grants program and I encourage drought-affected communities to apply for the next open round of funding.”

More information on the Tackling Tough Times Together program and the latest round of recipients can be found on the Foundation’s website at https://frrr.org.au/TTTT or by visiting the Australian Government Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications’ website at www.regional.gov.au/regional/programs.

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