Rappville Sawmill was one of many businesses severely impacted by the devastating Black Summer bushfires, part of a vitally important industry for the community that supports over 100 local jobs.

Federal NSW Nationals Member for Page Kevin Hogan and state NSW Nationals Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis have announced $742,090 for the Rappville Timber Processing Resilience Project to help this community recover.

Mr Hogan said the project will ensure the long term viability of the Rappville sawmill, creating six new jobs and securing existing local jobs in the area.

“Rappville Sawmill will use the funding to provide static and mobile fire protection,” he said.

“This includes the expansion of their water holding capacity and firefighting infrastructure, such as fire hydrants; overhead sprinklers, and four mobile firefighting pods designed to extinguish spot fires.

“This is a hugely positive outcome for our community and comes at a critical time after back-to-back challenges triggered by natural disasters.”

Mr Gulaptis said it was important to back projects that put people back in work, retain existing jobs and stimulate local economies.

“An excavator and two log skidders will be purchased to harvest logs from the forest, and additional staff employed to operate the machines, adding reliability and efficiency to the supply chain,” he said.

Two trucks will also be purchased and drivers employed – one, three hundred horsepower log jinker will be used to transport logs to the mill, and a smaller flat top truck will be modified to transport logging equipment and milled timber to local customers.”

This funding has been provided through the Bushfire Industry Recovery Package, co-funded by the NSW Nationals in the state and federal governments.

Boost for local treatment plant

A Richmond Valley Council project to future proof an essential service in Rappville is also a step closer thanks to a $3 million funding boost from the NSW Nationals in the state and federal governments.

Federal NSW Nationals Member for Page Kevin Hogan and state NSW Nationals Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis also announced funding for a new packaged sewage treatment plant.

Residents currently have a series of individual septic systems for their sewerage. With a population of around 170, they will now receive a packaged sewage treatment plant to replace the old systems.

Mr Hogan said the treatment plant would bring much of the town’s water and waste infrastructure up to modern standards.

“This will help to create the kind of community people will want to work or raise a family in,” he said.

“This is a hugely positive outcome for our community and comes at a critical time after back-to-back challenges triggered by natural disasters.”

Mr Gulaptis said the project was ready to be delivered and the funding announced today would provide a quick injection of economic stimulus.

“A sewage treatment system will create a safer, healthier and more sustainable village,” he said.

“Our regional communities have been doing it tough to say the least which is why we are backing projects that will put people back in work, retain existing jobs and stimulate local economies.”

Richmond Valley Council mayor Robert Mustow said the sewage treatment plant was identified in the council’s Rebuilding the Richmond Valley Community Revitalisation Plan released in February.

“At present, the township of Rappville is not on reticulated sewer; each home has an on-site sewage management system,” he said.

“The new sewage treatment system would have capacity to service the existing and planned extended population.”

This funding has been provided through the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, co-funded by the NSW Nationals in the state and federal governments.