Council prepares ‘wish list for Federal drought support funding package

September 26, 2018

Gwydir Shire Council will on Thursday consider a Community Services and Planning Committee recommendation to adopt a program of ten projects funded by the Federal Government’s Drought Communities’ Program.

In August, the then Minister for regional Development, Territories and Local Government, Dr. John McVeigh, wrote to Councils following the announcement of a $75 million boost to the Drought Communities Program. The program will provide eligible councils, including Gwydir, with up to $1 million each to support small, rural towns through the drought.

“This funding is intended to provide short-term support to communities facing hardship arising from drought,” the Minister wrote. “It will fund projects that provide local employment, keep money flowing through local shops and suppliers and support drought-relief activities.”

There is no requirement for Council to match funding under the program. Funding is only available this financial year, and projects must be completed by June 30, 2019. Council’s General Manager, Max Eastcott asked the senior staff and Councillors to provide a list of possible projects.  The Gravesend Hall Community Group also submitted a request for funding consideration.

The Community Services and Planning Committee tossed the 24 suggestions about, and came up with a list of 10 projects to be submitted for Federal funding once the guidelines are announced. Some of the projects have had recent or past extensive public consultation. The projects and estimated costs include:

  • Upper Horton Renovation of Tennis Courts and upgrading to Multisport courts. $130,000
  • Warialda Air Strip fencing. $145,000
  • Gravesend Hall. $50,000 Use local fabricators to build additional cardboard cages for community recycling. $10,000
  • Development of an All Abilities Recreation Area at Hospital Park, Warialda using local contractors. $200,000
  • North Star Sports Club solar panels and outdoor lighting. $90,000
  • Warialda and Bingara Town Streetscape improvements. $200,000
  • CWA commemorative statue leading up to the 100th Anniversary in 2022. $50,000
  • Reedy Creek Warialda bamboo removal and other work. $15,000
  • Gwydir Foreshore improvement works including weed eradication. $110,000.

The estimated value of these projects totals the $1 million maximum Councils can receive.