Western Plains Regional Development Incorporated will be able to undergo a much-needed facelift thanks to $110,000 in Federal Government funding under the Future Drought Fund’s Network to Build Drought Resilience program.
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said this funding will enable Western Plains Regional Development to boost community connectedness and help the Lachlan Shire better prepare for drought.
“I’m pleased to be able to support Western Plains Regional Development with this $110,000 grant to build drought resilience and social connection through an upgrade to its building at 18 William Street,” Mr Coulton said.
“Western Plains Regional Development provides a broad range of services to the people of Condobolin and the wider Lachlan Shire, however the building is dated and in need of some serious TLC.
“This upgrade will provide a more welcoming meeting place for the community to use year-round, which will increase access to and use of the facility. This will go a long way in supporting the community’s wellbeing, putting them in better stead ahead of the next drought.”
Western Plains Regional Development Executive Officer Jess Loftus said this upgrade has been a long time coming and will provide a much-needed relief for the organisation to progress forward.
“The WPRD building provides a community hub for a range of service providers who outreach to Condobolin, as well as our internal funded projects that are directly benefitting each and every community member throughout the whole of the Lachlan Shire,” Ms Loftus said.
“Our community building was starting to feel the brunt of the range of extreme weather conditions we experience in the Central West, which meant we have not been able to use the building to its full potential.
“On behalf of the executive committee and staff of WPRD, I would like to thank the Federal Government for providing us this opportunity.”
Former treasurer and one of the founders of the WPRD, Anne Coffey said part of the grant will be used to replace the roof and stormwater drainage.
“The building has had an enormous amount of water damage from storms; it needs some serious work which we don’t have the money for,” Ms Coffey said.
“This will allow us to keep functioning and keep the building operating.
“We’re absolutely grateful to Mark and the Federal Government for providing this funding – without it I don’t know what we were going to do.”
Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia, David Littleproud said the Future Drought Fund’s Network to Build Drought Resilience program focuses on local initiatives to enable agricultural communities to be better prepared for the impacts of drought.
“Building drought resilience here in the Parkes electorate benefits the entire Australian agriculture sector. The stronger individual communities are, the more robust our industry becomes as a result,” Minister Littleproud said.
The Networks to Build Drought Resilience program is part of an Australian Government investment of $19.2 million in leadership, mentoring, community capacity building and small community infrastructure to help build drought resilience.
Interested organisations are encouraged to apply directly for the second grant round to the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal. Applications are open until 15 November 2021.
For more information on the Future Drought Fund and the Networks to Build Drought Resilience program visit https://www.awe.gov.au/agriculture-land/farm-food-drought/drought/future-drought-fund/networks-build-drought-resilience
- Eligible organisations can apply directly for the second grant round with FRRR for projects that encourage connectedness in agricultural communities or improve the skills and capacity of network members.
- It is a key program under the $5 billion Future Drought Fund.
- Through the Networks to Build Resilience program, the Australian Government’s investment of $3.375m, together with a $1.125m contribution from the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal will enable $4.5 million to be available for on-ground community capacity building projects in these two funding rounds, the second of which is currently underway.