Vital community projects in every local government area across regional NSW are under threat, with the Minns Labor government refusing to rule out scrapping the hugely successful Stronger Country Communities Fund (SCCF).
Nationals’ Leader and Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders has urged the Minister for Regional NSW Tara Moriarty to stand up for communities in the bush and roll out the $90 million in funding that had been set aside by the previous government for the next round of the program.
“Every day we’re reminded of the success of this program, and how it has made a really meaningful difference to the lives of people living in communities all across the Dubbo electorate,” Mr Saunders said.
“In the most recent round alone this fund contributed over $1 million for Dubbo Regional Council to upgrade the synthetic track at Barden Park, $280,000 towards improvements at Mudgee Netball Courts, and $126,633 to upgrade and improve accessibility at Dundas Park in Narromine.
“If Chris Minns and Tara Moriarty scrap this program, they are showing contempt for the people of regional NSW, and saying that we don’t deserve the same kind of amenities that those in the city take for granted.”
Mr Saunders said the Stronger Country Communities Fund is an important program that provides the infrastructure required to ensure regional communities thrive, and its removal would have lingering effects across regional NSW.
“This program was established by the former Coalition government in 2017, and since then has seen $660 million invested into more than 2,500 projects across the bush. It’s been vitally important for regional communities,” Mr Saunders said.
“We know in some cases there are projects that simply wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the funding the former Coalition government invested into this program. If Labor walks away from the Stronger Country Communities Fund, it’s letting down every regional community in NSW.”