19 October 2018
The Federal Government’s Drought Communities Program has made available up to $1 million to Gunnedah Shire Council to deliver infrastructure and other community projects as part of a drought relief package. The package aims to stimulate local spending, provide employment and use local businesses and suppliers in delivering projects that will have a long-lasting benefit to rural communities.
At Wednesday night’s Ordinary Council Meeting, Councillors voted to lodge an application to install self-service water standpipes in Gunnedah, Mullaley, Tambar Springs and Curlewis. The project will see standpipes equipped with a self-serve automated dispensing system to help these drought-affected communities in the future and make it easier for people across the Shire to access water.
Council also resolved to investigate the feasibility of installation of Standpipes in other Villages where Council does not currently provide a water service.
Gunnedah Shire Mayor Jamie Chaffey said the standpipes will be a great project to kick-off the funding program and is excited to see what the community proposes for the remaining allocation.
Council is now asking the community, local businesses, and service and sporting groups to submit proposals for projects that meet the funding guidelines. This could include improving community facilities, holding events that generate tourism and economic activity or building infrastructure to improve our ability to respond to drought. Council will then form an evaluation panel to shortlist and prioritise proposals.
“The funding is intended to provide immediate short-term support, or long-lasting benefits to communities, such as Gunnedah and our villages, that are facing hardship brought about by the drought,” Cr Chaffey said.
“The community is invited to submit proposals for projects and activities that may be funded under the program and that will benefit the economic development, employment and drought-proofing of our Shire.”
Acknowledging the drought is having a big impact across the entire Shire, Cr Chaffey said Councillors resolved to set a minimum of $200,000 aside specifically to target projects in villages and remote locations.
“Our villages are very important to the makeup of our Shire, so I encourage people in the villages and progress associations to think about what could benefit their communities and submit their applications,” he said.
To be successful, a nominated project must lead to the employment of locals, contribute to the economic activity of communities/regions or lead to the retention of businesses, services and facilities.
Council’s Director Corporate and Community Services Colin Forman said Council aims to make the process as simple as possible to encourage more people or groups to apply.
“To ease the burden on people making submissions and to speed up the process, submission documents only need to be a simple outline of the project including expected costs and timeframes,” Mr Formann said.
“Once the submissions are shortlisted and prioritised, Council will then work with you to create more detailed applications for the funding. We have a very short time frame to develop applications and complete these projects as construction needs to be complete by 30 June 2019.”
Proposals will be accepted via this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BG6CDBZ until Thursday, 8 November, 2018.
For further information about the eligibility criteria call (02) 6740 2100 or visit Council’s Administration Building, Elgin Street, Gunnedah. Visit here www.business.gov.au/assistance/drought-communities-programme to view the funding guidinlines.
Photo: The Drought Communities Program is open for project proposals.
Media Contact: Brooke Maisey 6740 2100.