Photo caption: Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton and Gwydir Shire Council Mayor John Coulton pictured at the vacant block where the emergency accommodation and respite facility will be built in Warialda.
Gwydir Shire residents will have access to a community facility that offers emergency accommodation and respite care, thanks to $750,000 in funding from the Federal Government.
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton recently met with Gwydir Shire Council Mayor John Coulton to find out more about the project, funded under the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants program.
“As part of the now $2.2 billion National Bushfire Recovery Fund, the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants program is backing projects which the affected communities have said will best support their ongoing recovery,” Mr Coulton said.
“In the Gwydir Shire, this is the establishment of a new community facility in Warialda that will not only provide emergency accommodation for local residents and disaster recovery workers, but will be used for respite care for local residents with disabilities when it’s not required for natural disasters.
“This is a project that will have lasting benefits for the local community, supporting the wellbeing of families, while ensuring people have a roof over their heads when the next disaster strikes.
“We understand that recovery from bushfires takes time, and we will continue to support impacted communities through their recovery from the devastating Black Summer bushfires of 2019-2020.”
Gwydir Shire Council Mayor John Coulton said the benefits of the project are twofold.
“The purpose-built facility will provide much needed emergency accommodation for both emergency response teams and community members displaced due to fire, flood or other natural disasters,” Cr Coulton said.
“When the accommodation isn’t being used for crisis situations, the facility will be used as a respite centre, providing short-term breaks for adults and children with special needs, supporting both the individual and their carers by providing the opportunity for a much-needed break and the time and space to do things independently.
“Currently, this type of service is limited in the Gwydir Shire and this new facility will come as welcome relief for many who normally must travel great distances to access this type of service.”
Gwydir Shire Council also received $850,000 through the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants program for it’s The Living Classroom project, providing emergency accommodation and tourism opportunities in Bingara.
More information about the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants program is available on the National Recovery and Resilience Agency website at: https://recovery.gov.au/black-summer-bushfire-recovery-grants-program