Drought-hit communities will share in more than $1 million for community projects under the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal’s Tackling Tough Times Together program.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Foundation supports Australia’s regional communities experiencing the devastating effects of drought.
“These projects help rural communities with the stress of the drought impacting families and businesses while also contributing to the local economy and infrastructure renewal,” Mr McCormack said.
“We continue to deliver on our $15 million commitment under FRRR Tackling Tough Times Together initiative and this latest injection of funds comes at a critical time for parts of regional Australia doing it particularly tough due to drought.”
Minister for Drought David Littleproud said the program created important economic stimulus in drought-affected areas.
“These projects hire local people and use the services of local business,” Minister Littleproud said.
“They support events, services and places where the community gathers which is important to emotional wellbeing and mental health in drought-hit areas.”
Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government Mark Coulton said it was pleasing to see smaller towns applying for the grants.
“Around a third of applications made under previous rounds were from communities of less than 500 people, while overall demand for grants was highest in communities of fewer than 5,000 people,” Minister Coulton said.
Projects funded so far include community infrastructure, Parent and Community association activities, community festivals and Indigenous programmes.
Applications for the programme are always open and groups in drought-affected areas are encouraged to apply.
Grants are managed by the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) and funded by more than 15 donors including government, business and individuals. The Federal Government has committed $15 million over three years.