We’re building better regions - NSW Nationals

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We’re building better regions

All too often the big ticket funding requests of a major city overpower a small town’s modest need for a new sporting field or sheep pavilion at the local agricultural show.

The Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF), announced by our Deputy Leader and Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash, will deliver infrastructure projects and community activities solely to communities located outside the major capital cities. 

The Nationals went to this year’s Federal election with a promise - to take the existing National Stronger Regions Fund (NSRF) and make it eligible only to regional, rural and remote Australia, and be broadened to allow small community groups to apply. It was from this promise that BBRF was created.

In announcing the new fund, Fiona highlighted some of the key differences between the former NSRF and the new BBRF. The first is a no brainer - projects in major cities cannot apply. And projects of different scales will not compete against each other. This means a professionally written large scale application will not be compared against a small funding request from a regional town.

In addition, smaller communities will not necessarily have to match funding but rather, as Fiona says, “I think it’s fair the government fund up to 75 per cent of their project costs.” This means that places that are doing it tough and find matching dollar-for-dollar impossible are no longer out of the running for funding.

In general, funding under the BBRF will be available in two streams:  The Infrastructure Projects Stream which will invest in projects that involve the construction of new infrastructure, or upgrade/extend existing infrastructure and the Community Investments Stream which will invest in local events and activities, strategic regional plans and leadership and capability building activities.

Whether it was the NSRF or the new BBRF this diverse fund has always contributed to a wide range of unique projects, with examples as diverse as the a Cinema Complex in Kempsey Town Centre to an extension for the Culcairn Early Childhood Centre Building, to the construction of a new KidzWish Place in Flinders. So there is no reason to think your small community can’t apply for funding.

To read more, or apply, visit: www.business.gov.au/bbrf.

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