Federal Member responds to “Missing million” story
I announced in August that all 18 local councils in my electorate, as well as the Unincorporated Area, would receive $1 million in extra grant funding under an extension to the Drought Communities Programme (DCP).
This important funding has been welcomed widely by councils in the Parkes electorate both large and small, prompting them to identify and pursue local projects that will boost community infrastructure and stimulate local employment and community spending.
I am aware of many excellent projects already in the works under this program, and I know they will go a long way to help the communities doing it tough at the moment as a result of the drought.
I note that I was not contacted regarding a recent article published by Dubbo Photo News [“Mayor asks: Where’s our missing million?”, November 29 edition] in relation to the DCP. In this article, it was suggested that Dubbo Regional Council should be entitled to a further $1 million, due to the 2016 merger of Dubbo and Wellington, and that population differences in council areas should also come into consideration, with reference to smaller populations such as Gilgandra and Narromine.
The Federal Government has committed this significant drought funding to support council areas that have suffered greatly from the ongoing drought. Historic council amalgamations are not considered, nor is population, in determining a council’s eligibility for the DCP, which is based on the level of hardship experienced as a result of the drought. It should be noted that towns with a small population, but larger numbers of farming residents, can often be the hardest hit.
I have invited the Mayor of Dubbo to share a letter with me, that I can pass on to the Minister responsible for further discussion. I thank the Mayor for his comments.
More information on the DCP – Extension is available at www.business.gov.au/assistance/drought-communities-programme.
Mark Coulton MP Federal Member for Parkes The Editor,
Whether it is connecting with your community, giving a hand to someone in need, making a donation or volunteering a few hours of your time, every contribution to The Salvation Army, however big or small, can significantly impact the lives of those in need at Christmas.
Christmas is the busiest time of the year for The Salvation Army, with more than 300,000 people seeking our assistance. We also distribute around 500,000 gifts and toys and serve more than 100,000 meals to those in need.
So please, help us give hope where it’s needed most this festive season. By donating $29 to the Salvos, you can help put food on the table and a present under the tree to support Aussies doing it tough this Christmas.
To donate to The Salvation Army’s Christmas Appeal, please call 13 72 58 or visit salvos.org.au. Lieut-colonel Neil Venables National Secretary for Communications, The Salvation Army