The Gwydir Shire Council will receive $1.182 million in funding as part of the Federal Government’s $1.8 billion boost for road and community projects through local governments across Australia. The investment will support local jobs and businesses, and boost local economies struggling with the effects of COVID-19.
The funding package included the establishment of a new $500 million Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program, and the bringing forward of $1.3 billion of the 2020-21 Financial Assistance Grant payment.
Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said that the new program will enable local councils to deliver priority projects with a focus on upgrades and maintenance to local roads and community infrastructure.
“Every single job we support makes a huge difference in our local communities, now and as we navigate out of the coronavirus pandemic,” Mr Coulton said.
Local road projects to be delivered under the Program include, but are not limited to, constructing or improving bridges and tunnels, street lighting, and heavy vehicle facilities such as rest areas.
A broad range of community infrastructure projects will be eligible including new or upgraded bicycle and walking paths, community facilities, and picnic shelters and barbeque facilities at parks.
Locally, Gwydir Shire Mayor John Coulton has welcomed the funding, especially considering it is largely unrestricted. “As a Council we’ll go through and look at what we can use this funding for.
t’s reasonably unrestricted, which will definitely help. We could use it on roads or community infrastructure,” Mayor Coulton said. “I’d be keen to use it towards something significant, something that will last and be there for generations.”
“Regardless of what we decide to use it for, it’s a wonderful thing and will keep our communities going in these difficult times.”