Fed­eral Mem­ber re­sponds to “Miss­ing mil­lion” story

Dubbo Photo News - - Dubbo Weekender -

The Edi­tor,

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

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