Spirits are high in Coonamble with today’s announcement that $170,000 will be delivered to the local community under the latest round of the Tackling Tough Times Together program.
Member for Parkes Mark Coulton was in Coonamble today to congratulate the successful recipients – Coonamble Neighbourhood Centre and Outback Arts Incorporated.
“These two grants will allow these important local organisations to lift community spirits and bring people together, which is especially important given the effects of the ongoing drought,” Mr Coulton said.
“$150,000 has been committed to the Coonamble Neighbourhood Centre to hold three comedy festivals over three years in Coonamble, Gilgandra and Coonabarabran; hold eleven smaller events in villages across the region; and purchase a BBQ trailer and seating.
“A further $20,000 has been committed to Outback Arts to raise awareness of, and support for, mental health through artistic weaving. Two-day workshops will be delivered across eight locations, along with evening wellbeing talks and additional one-on-one wellness mentoring.
“These are important ventures to help keep the fabric of our communities strong, and I believe benefits will be felt throughout the entire Coonamble community as a result of these grants.”
Mr Coulton said $15 million has been provided by the Liberal and Nationals Government to not-for-profit Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR), which administers the Tackling Tough Times Together grants program.
“The Liberal and Nationals Government’s commitment, together with generous donations by individuals, major companies, government agencies and other not-for profit foundations, speaks volumes for the ability of those who are contending with the ongoing drought to come together.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the program has been designed to provide support for projects identified as important to the survival and future prosperity of small, drought-affected communities throughout Australia.
“Nationally, these grants are going to a range of local organisations, including community associations, show societies, progress committees and environmental groups, to support projects that reduce social isolation, enhance community health and wellbeing and build volunteer and organisational capacity,” Mr McCormack said.
Further information on the program and grant opportunities may be found on the FRRR website: www.frrr.org.au/grants/tackling_tough_times_together
While in Coonamble, Mr Coulton also announced that the Coonamble State Emergency Service (SES) and Coonamble Rural Fire Service (RFS) will each receive a $5000 grant under the Volunteer Grants programme. In the Parkes electorate, a total of 41 community organisations received small grants under the 2018 programme to support their volunteers.
Photo Caption: Member for Parkes Mark Coulton with Jamie-Lea Hodges, Outback Arts.