Armidale Regional Council has received $500,000 under the federal government’s $81 million Regional Drought Communities Program, which supports towns and businesses across Australia experiencing hardship due to drought.
Council will repair 89 cattle grids; upgrade a 1.47km section of Boorolong Road, north-west of Armidale; and install water filling stations, as part of its Armidale Region Drought Infrastructure Program.
This is one of four local government areas across the New England electorate which together have secured almost $3 million for drought-related infrastructure projects and initiatives, federal member Barnaby Joyce announced.
“A major road project can keep a town going with the motels booked, meals selling from the local hotel, money flowing through cash tills, and local people in work,” Mr Joyce said.
Glen Innes will use $360,000 to resheet 9 km of its rural road network suffering load damage.
Tamworth has received $1 million to seal rural roads and cattle grids, and provide greater capacity for heavy vehicles.
Inverell has been given $900,000 to refurbish 10 community facilities, with the assistance of local tradespeople and suppliers. The town will also spend $100,000 on a Choose Inverell marketing strategy to promote local businesses.
“All 10 local governments areas in the New England electorate are eligible for this funding, which is helping to stimulate the economies of our regional towns during drought,” Mr Joyce said.
Despite natural disasters, regional and rural Australia continues to punch above its weight in the nation’s economy, Minister for Regional Services, Local Government and Decentralisation Bridget McKenzie said.
“Regional Australia accounts for around two-thirds of our exports, and employs hundreds of thousands of Australians. Supporting these communities now is a small price to ensure we keep the economy growing.”