- Coalition Government’s Drought Communities Programme has been extended to provide immediate relief to communities impacted by the drought
- All 18 Local Councils and Unincorporated Area in Parkes electorate will have access to initial grants of up to $19 million
- The funding will address local needs and target communities most affected by drought
The Coalition Government is extending the Drought Communities Programme with an additional $75 million in further support for drought stricken communities, announced as part of the next phase of the drought package.
Member for the Parkes electorate, Mark Coulton, said initial grants of up to $19 million in total will be made available to all 18 Local Councils in his electorate, as well as the Unincorporated Area.
“I’m pleased to announce that this funding will allow Local Councils in my electorate to choose projects that will have the biggest impact in their local area, given the severe drought,” Mr Coulton said.
“Councils will be invited to submit appropriate projects in due course, which address local conditions and needs. This program will prioritise projects that use local businesses to the greatest degree possible.
“This is great news for the communities in my electorate doing it tough as a result of the drought.”
Mr Coulton said possible projects could include employing local contractors to undertake repairs and maintenance; upgrading or building new community facilities; holding events and undertaking drought-relief activities; or carting potable water into communities for drinking and bathing.
“It’s clear to me that it’s not just farmers that are suffering from this ongoing drought – it’s the local communities as well.
“We need to continue doing all we can to ensure these communities have the support they need to make it through the tough times.”
Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government John McVeigh said the fund will provide immediate and short-term support for farmers and regional communities.
“We are providing an additional $75 million this financial year for eligible councils to address local needs,” Dr McVeigh said.
“This is a terrible drought affecting the livelihoods and wellbeing of our farmers and regional communities. This fund targets those most seriously impacted.”
The additional funding for the Drought Communities Programme will initially offer $1 million in grants funding to 60 eligible drought affected councils to provide immediate and short-term support for their communities.
Through the Drought Communities Programme the Coalition Government has funded 135 projects in 23 local government areas since 2015-16.
Media Contacts: Mark Coulton – Anna Tickle – 0400 050 729
Dr McVeigh – Sonia Gentile – 0455 050 007