Building the regional communities of tomorrow
Regional NSW is the beating heart of our state and thanks to the Government’s 2017/18 Budget, our towns are getting the injection of funds they so rightfully deserve.
As part of the record $1.3 billion investment into our regions, the first round of the $200 million Stronger Country Communities Fund has opened. The fund is designed to transform projects long stuck on community wish lists into reality.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said the NSW Government is calling on regional communities to nominate infrastructure projects they’d like to see rebuilt or local facilities that need to be upgraded.
“The Stronger Country Communities Fund will build new parks, playgrounds and cycle pathways and refurbish local schools, health facilities, libraries and community centres that grow our local communities,” John said.
The fund is designed to facilitate projects valued at between $100,000 and $1 million and will be available to 92 Local Government Areas (LGA) across the state.
$870,000 will be allocated per year over two years to each council, with any un-used funds able to be rolled over into the following year allowing local councils and communities to prepare their applications and access the $1.74 million when ready.
Projects will be assessed in partnership with LGAs and the NSW Government based on feedback generated by residential surveys and consultation with community groups.
The fund is targeted directly at expanding the infrastructure delivered by councils and strengthening their capacity to futureproof their communities. The joint approach highlights the NSW Nationals and Liberals commitment to creating strong and stable councils across the State who can viably serve their communities for years to come.
The funding is open to state government agencies, non-government organisations and community groups but the application must be led and submitted by the local government.
Stronger Country Communities funding has already been announced for the three LGAs within Nationals MP Troy Grant’s Dubbo electorate, with the councils of Narromine, Dubbo and Mid-West to share in $3.4 million in base funding, with additional funds allocated on a population ratio.
“Everyone that lives in Regional NSW is getting their fair share of the dividends of our very strong economy,” said Troy.
Mayor of Mid-Western Regional Council Des Kennedy applauded the initiative, thanking Troy and the Government for “running the State correctly” by allowing for significant funds to be poured into the regions.
Mayor of Narromine Craig Davies called the program a “wonderful injection of funding”, noting that in many cases the grants will correlate with community strategic plans already in place.
Projects must be costed, with a commence date within 12 months of application and completion within two years.
Groups that previously missed out on the popular and oversubscribed Community Building Partnerships fund are encouraged to contact their local council to discuss applying in partnership for Stronger Country Communities funds.
Local government areas have been divided into three funding tranches, with Tranche A open now.
For more information, to find out when your Council area can apply or to view the Department of Industry’s webinar on the application process, please visit here >>>
For application guidelines, please visit here >>>
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