Regional Connectivity Program open
I’m pleased that applications for the Australian Government’s $53 million Regional Connectivity Program are now open.
In my role as Regional Communications Minister, I have been working to ensure this Program targets investment in local telecommunications infrastructure projects to maximise economic and social opportunities in the bush.
Telcos, regional communities, regional development organisations, and state, territory and local governments can collaborate and apply for funding through the Program.
Projects to be funded could include upgrades to mobile infrastructure to improve telehealth access, remote education and retail internet and phone services, or the development of enterprise-grade broadband networks to support local ag, manufacturing and tourism businesses to engage more competitively online.
Potential applicants should work together to develop projects. We are looking for projects that will provide the most profound benefit to local communities and by joining forces, I’m confident we will see many great solutions come from the bush to improve services in the bush.
The online Program Noticeboard provides a portal for collaboration where applicants can find and register potential projects, linking regional communities and industry providers.
Applications are open until 20 October 2020. For guidelines and the application process, visit www.grants.gov.au
Funding flows to councils for local infrastructure
The Australian Government has delivered the first payment toward crucial small-scale local road and community infrastructure projects nationwide, under the $500 million Local Roads and Community Infrastructure (LRCI) Program.
As a former Mayor, I’m well aware that local councils are well positioned to get projects underway quickly, and this week we have got money out the door to the first of more than 40 projects.
I’m calling on all local councils in my electorate to get the ball rolling on seeking support for their priority road and local community funding initiatives.
The program is already supporting the delivery of footpaths, sporting field lighting upgrades, tennis court sealing, improving green spaces, carparks, and Wi-Fi networks.
These projects will play an important role in improving local infrastructure, creating local jobs and supporting the nation’s post-COVID recovery.
The LRCI programme is part of a suite of investments being made by the Australian Government in Local Governments and is in addition to the $1.3 billion in untied funding from 2020–21 Financial Assistance Grant Program, which was pre-paid in June.
NAIDOC Week grants on offer
We have an opportunity to showcase the best of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history during this year’s NAIDOC Week.
NAIDOC Week will be held from 8 to 15 November this year, and $1.4 million is available in grants to help local communities to host events and other activities.
This year’s theme is ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’ and I encourage people in my electorate to consider how they could get involved with NAIDOC Week in a safe way.
Information on the 2020 NAIDOC local grants round is available on the National Indigenous Australians Agency website, www.niaa.gov.au/naidoc, with applications closing 17 August.
All applicants from the previous round that closed in March will be contacted by the National Indigenous Australians Agency and provided guidance on how to re-apply. Events and information about NAIDOC Week 2020 will be posted to www.naidoc.org.au