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Drought Communities Programme Extension funding directed to rural residents

19 December 2019

Southern Downs Regional Council yesterday endorsed the allocation of the $1M Drought Communities Programme Extension funding from the Federal Government with a strong focus on rural residents.

Through the funding, Council will seek to support community hall upgrades, new shade structures, a water tank rebate for rural landowners, and debit cards for eligible residents.

Councillor for Communities, Towns and Villages Sheryl Windle said that while the whole region was feeling the effects of the ongoing drought, it was important that the funding be directed towards those hit hardest.

“We are all suffering through this drought, however our residents living off the land have been hit hardest,” said Cr Windle.

“Council is grateful for this funding because without this support we would not be able to help our rural residents as much as we want to.

“The initiatives endorsed by Council yesterday at the General Meeting will create jobs and spending, keep money circulating in our region and uplift community spirit.

“It is important for community spirit that the social spaces such as local halls and parks where our rural residents come together and gather as a united community are upgraded and maintained.”

Councillor for Health, Cultural Diversity and Learning Neil Meiklejohn was particularly pleased that Council would apply for the water tank rebate for rural residents.

“Council has been looking at ways to support the water tank rebate for rural residents for some time. This federal funding provides the opportunity and hopefully opens the door,” said Cr Meiklejohn.

“The Southern Downs and Granite Belt have stood fierce in the face an exhausting and uncompromising drought. This funding will go towards providing a small amount of respite to our rural community until the drought breaks.

“This $1M is another excellent example of what can be accomplished when tiers of government work together.”

 

Funding proposal:

·         Community Halls - $100,000

·         Shade structures for parks in regional villages - $100,000

·         Water tank rebates for rural landowners (not connected to the reticulated water supply) - $700,000

·         Debit cards for eligible residents (to be spent with local businesses) - $100,000

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