Picture: Craig Thomson

 

NSW Nationals Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke today announced $2.67 million to honour a promise to the residents of the Hilltops region.

A shortfall in costs was identified after the successful amalgamation of Young, Boorowa and Harden councils into Hilltops Council, which Ms Cooke promised to make right.

Ms Cooke said the merger of the councils was a situation which she had inherited, but one which she had vowed to deliver for.

“Today I am so proud to announce that the Nationals in Government have delivered on the promise of finding the shortfall in costs that were identified by the Hilltops Council following the successful amalgamation of the Young, Boorowa and Harden councils,” Ms Cooke said. “Today’s announcement is testament to all of those, both in Hilltops Council and the NSW Government, who have worked so very hard to deliver this for those it affected. I would like to thank Hilltops Council – led by Mayor Brian Ingram – for their patience, collaboration and importantly for their trust in me that I would not let this important issue lay until this outcome was reached.”

Hilltops Council mayor Brian Ingram said he was delighted and relieved that the funding had been delivered.

“This is a great result,” Councillor Ingram said. “It’s due to a tremendous amount of hard work from a number of people: Hilltops Council, our local Member Steph Cooke, and the Deputy Premier, John Barilaro. It’s a fantastic relief for me personally. This is something I inherited along with Ms Cooke when she was elected. We’ve worked extremely hard and it’s a great pressure off my shoulders.”

Not only did Ms Cooke announce the amalgamation funding, she also announced $3.16 million in funding for 22 community projects in the Hilltops region, including $894,328 for improvements to village halls at Jugiong, Monteagle, Bendick Murrell and Wombat, $432,000 for golf course irrigation at Harden Country Club and $364,316 for the complete bronzing of the statue of Bill the Bastard at Murrumburrah.

“Hilltops Council has done a terrific job since its creation in May 2016 to ensure it is in the best possible position to deliver for its community,” Ms Cooke said. “This funding injection is in recognition of this strong performance and the ongoing work it needs to carry out to ensure it delivers quality infrastructure and services to residents.”

The $3.16 million funding package includes:

  • $894,328 for improvements to village halls at Jugiong, Monteagle, Bendick Murrell and Wombat
  • $432,000 for golf course irrigation at Harden Country Club
  • $364,316 to complete bronzing the Bill the Bastard statue at Murrumburrah
  • $269,148 for electrical upgrades at Murrumburrah Showground
  • $250,000 for the Young Community Arts Centre Trust to install solar panels and undertake capital works improvements at the Lambing Flat Museum precinct
  • $230,464 for Young Local Aboriginal Land Council for a cultural centre
  • $140,815 for the Wombat Progress Association for improvements to Wombat Oval
  • $140,000 for Harden Murrumburrah Historical Society’s Mackay Lighthorse Memorial
  • $104,802 for Tubbul Campdraft for electrical upgrades at Bribbaree Showground
  • $80,000 for stadium upgrades at the Young PCYC
  • $54,722 for Harden Pony Club for improvements at Murrumburrah Showground
  • $50,000 for Young Preschool to purchase a new vehicle for Young Mobile Play Activities
  • $30,954 for storage facilities at Young Childcare Centre (Gumnut Grove)
  • $30,000 for Harden-Murrumburrah Junior Rugby League Club to purchase a food van and storage
  • $20,000 to install a cycleway at Bunyip Preschool
  • $18,000 for a second firetruck shelter at Koorawatha Fire Brigade
  • $13,356 to upgrade the entry doors at Zac’s Place
  • $13,029 for renovations to the entry foyer at Young PCYC
  • $9,955 for new equipment for the Young Darts Association
  • $6,300 to replace the ceiling at Bribbaree Hall
  • $5,000 for the Young Sports Advisory Council (355 Committee) to buy equipment
  • $5,000 for Murringo Public School to purchase sports equipment

“This funding package will provide much-needed facilities to a wide range of groups and organisations who give so much to the local community,” Ms Cooke said. “I would like to thank Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Minister for Local Government Gabrielle Upton for this funding package including meeting the council’s request for additional funds towards the cost of amalgamation.”

Ms Upton said the funding was in addition to the $20 million the NSW Government provided to Hilltops Council when it was created in May 2016 towards upfront administration costs and to kick-start delivery of community infrastructure. She said the Government was committed to supporting councils in regional NSW to support their communities.

“Regional councils do a fantastic job in the face of unique and ongoing challenges and the NSW Government is proud to continue to support Hilltops Council to help it deliver for the local community,” Ms Upton said.