Council confirms projects for $1 million drought funding

Goondiwindi Regional Council has confirmed the first round of projects set to benefit from the Federal Government’s $1 million drought funding.

So far, $601,500 of funding has been secured towards water supply and cartage, land care initiatives and 13 other projects under the Drought Communities Programme (DCP) Extension.

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The projects will use local suppliers and trades and are targeted to stimulate local community spending and provide long-lasting benefits to the region.

The funding is part of the Australian Government’s $1.8 billion drought support package announced in August this year. The Goondiwindi region is one of the 81 local council areas eligible for $81 million in 2018-19.

Guidelines for the funding give preference to projects that will employ local contractors to undertake repairs and maintenance, upgrade or build new community facilities,hold events and undertake drought-relief activities and cart potable water into communities for drinking and bathing.

Mayor Graeme Scheu says that with agriculture as the backbone of our region, priority had been given to projects that would best stimulate the local economy and ease the pressure of the drought on our community. Feedback and requests from the community also informed which projects were chosen for the funding.

Prospective projects had to be able to be completed by the given deadline of 30 June 2019.

With such a tight turnaround, work towards the approved projects will get underway as soon as possible.

“This year has been a tough one for our farmers and that has a flow-on effect for everyone in a regional area such as ours,’ he said. ‘The drought has consequences beyond the farm gate and puts pressure on our local businesses as pockets get tighter.”

“Federal funding only goes so far and toughing out these times together means buying from local businesses, using local trades and keeping that money flowing in our community.”

Other projects selected for the funding include a new outdoor area at the Goondiwindi Cultural Centre, stock proofing the Goondiwindi airport and road and walkway upgrades across Goondiwindi, Inglewood, Talwood, Texas and Yelarbon. Eight small community halls will also receive funding to install solar power.