A high-priority drought relief project is progressing in the Muswellbrook Shire in New South Wales, with funding approved to flow under the Australian Government’s Drought Communities Programme (DCP) Extension.
Minister for Drought David Littleproud said he was pleased to see the local project is ready to move forward.
“The Australian Government is providing $1 million to the Muswellbrook Shire Council to help refurbish the historic Ruth White Memorial Pool.
“The project will provide long lasting benefits for the Muswellbrook community which has been significantly impacted throughout the drought.” Minister Littleproud said.
Nationals Senator for New South Wales Perin Davey hopes the project will help lift morale and bring the Muswellbrook community together in what has been an extremely difficult couple of years for the regions.
“One of the benefits of the Drought Communities Program is that it funds grass roots projects, it’s a program of local solutions for local needs,” Senator Davey said.
“These projects will not only provide economic stimulus and jobs at a time when residents need them the most, the projects will also update and restore local amenities which will benefit the region for many years to come.”
Project work includes lining the pool with vinyl to eliminate water leakage, installing a wet deck to improve plumbing, removing sources of leaks, improving filtration and other actions to bring the pool up to current standards.
Minister Littleproud said now more than ever, the Government is proud to support regional Australia during the added challenge of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
“The Government is aware of the added challenges presented by COVID-19. Communities should rest assured the Government continues to have their back, with an economic support package of nearly $289 billion in assistance announced to date.
“This includes the $1.8 billion package to assist local government in the delivery of priority projects with a focus on roads, community infrastructure upgrades and maintenance.
“Under this package, the $500 million Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program, and the bringing forward of $1.3 billion from the 2020-21 Financial Assistance Grant payments will help communities battling the effects of COVID-19.”
Minister Littleproud said DCP Extension projects, such as Muswellbrook’s, deliver immediate cash injections to communities to help keep locals employed, businesses open, and to keep money flowing through drought-affected regional economies.
“The Government is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our regional and rural communities who have been doing it tough through drought and will be here to support them through dedicated initiatives such as the DCP Extension,” he said.
“Drought doesn’t just hurt farmers; it hurts small businesses and the wider community as well, but with DCP Extension funding we can keep money flowing through areas that have been affected.
“So far, the DCP Extension has funded nearly 500 projects, such as the construction of local tourism assets and amenities blocks, delivery of a potable water supply, community resilience events and employing local drought support officers.”