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Additional drought assistance for communities in need

The Government is extending the Drought Communities program with an additional $75 million in further support for drought stricken communities announced today as part of the next phase of the drought package.

Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government John McVeigh said the fund would provide immediate and short-term support for farmers and regional communities doing it tough.

“We are providing an additional $75 million this financial year for eligible councils to address local needs,” Dr McVeigh said.

“We know drought is felt as hard on the main street as it is in the back paddock which is why our drought response is designed to help farmers as well as the towns and communities that surround them.”

The funding will deliver flexibility for councils to choose projects that will have the biggest impact. These can include:

  • Employing local contractors to undertake repairs and maintenance
  • Upgrading or building new community facilities
  • Holding events and undertaking drought-relief activities
  • Carting potable water into communities for drinking and bathing

“This is a terrible drought affecting the livelihoods and wellbeing of our farmers and regional communities, particularly those in New South Wales and Queensland. This fund targets those most seriously impacted by the drought,” Dr McVeigh said.

“We need to continue doing all we can to ensure these communities have the support they need to make it through the tough times.”

Through the Drought Communities program the Government has funded 135 projects in 23 local government areas since 2015–16.

The additional funding for the program will initially offer $1 million in grants funding to 60 eligible drought affected councils to provide immediate and short-term support for their communities.

Councils will be invited to submit appropriate projects, which address local conditions and needs. The program will prioritise projects that use local businesses to the greatest degree possible.

Source: Australian Government

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