Cash for country
Shire welcomes funding injection
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.