Cash for coun­try

Shire wel­comes fund­ing in­jec­tion

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS -

Ber­ri­gan Shire Coun­cil will to­day pore over a ‘wish list’ of in­fra­struc­ture projects which could po­ten­tially ben­e­fit from a NSW Govern­ment re­gional cash splash.

Ber­ri­gan Shire Coun­cil has been al­lo­cated just over $788,000 to com­plete in­fra­struc­ture projects through the govern­ment’s Stronger Coun­try Com­mu­ni­ties fund­ing pro­gram.

Ber­ri­gan Shire Mayor Matthew Han­nan said he was pleased with the al­lo­ca­tion for the lo­cal coun­cil area.

He said the fund­ing and how it can be best utilised would be dis­cussed in de­tail at to­day’s coun­cil meet­ing.

‘‘This grant will give us (coun­cil) the op­por­tu­nity to do projects in the com­mu­nity,’’ Cr Han­nan said.

‘‘We re­ally need to thank the state govern­ment for the grant, as fund­ing like this only usu­ally comes once in a gen­er­a­tion.’’

NSW Mem­ber for Murray Adrian Pic­coli said the in­ten­tion of the fund is to im­prove or es­tab­lish in­fra­struc­ture for parks, play­grounds, hos­pi­tals, schools and li­braries.

In a re­port to be tabled at to­day’s coun­cil meet­ing, coun­cil direc­tor cor­po­rate ser­vices Matt Hansen lists nine po­ten­tial projects which fit into the rec­om­mended spend­ing guide­lines.

Among them are the Fin­ley Skatepark, for which coun­cil says it al­ready has al­lo­cated match­ing fund­ing, and the con­tin­u­a­tion of the Tocumwal Fore­shore re­de­vel­op­ment plans.

Mr Hansen has also flagged up­grades to the Ber­ri­gan Apex Park and Fin­ley Rail­way Park as po­ten­tial re­cip­i­ents, as well as pend­ing re­fur­bish­ment works for the Fin­ley School of Arts Hall and Tocumwal War Memo­rial Hall.

Coun­cil will also con­sider a pro­posal to ei­ther re­fur­bish or ex­pand the in­door sports cen­tre at the Fin­ley show­grounds.

Mr Pic­coli said the ul­ti­mate goal of the fund­ing is to make re­gional com­mu­ni­ties more vi­brant places to live and work.

‘‘Although coun­cils will sub­mit all ap­pli­ca­tions to the fund, com­mu­nity groups are strongly en­cour­aged to iden­tify pro­pos­als that meet lo­cal as­pi­ra­tions and en­sure their lo­cal coun­cils are aware of their in­ter­est in ac­cess­ing this fund­ing,’’ Mr Pic­coli said.

Mr Pic­coli said the fund will sup­port projects be­tween $100,000 and $1 mil­lion, or higher with fi­nan­cial co-con­tri­bu­tion.

The Stronger Coun­try Com­mu­ni­ties Fund is part of the NSW Govern­ment’s $1.3 bil­lion Re­gional Growth Fund, de­signed to im­prove eco­nomic growth and pro­duc­tiv­ity with in­vest­ment in re­gional com­mu­ni­ties.

Ap­pli­ca­tions for coun­cil’s de­sired projects, which will then be as­sessed by the NSW Govern­ment, open on Au­gust 16.

More in­for­ma­tion about the fund­ing pro­gram is avail­able at www.nsw.gov.au/stronger­coun­trycommu­ni­ties.

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