Parkes Council re-directs how it would spend funding for drought projects

Parkes Shire Council has decided how to re-allocate part of a $1 million grant intended for drought affected shires after receiving advice that one of the projects it originally intended to apply to use the funding on is unsuitable.

Following a series of community forums council had proposed to apply to use $550,000 of the grant on a shop local card to be provided to all farmland rates properties in the shire.

The shop local card would only have been able to be used at shire businesses.

Council now intends to apply to spend the money on projects at Peak Hill, Cookamidgera, Alectown, Tullamore and Trundle.

If the grant application is successful, Council would spend $150,000 on the Carrington Building in Peak Hill.

A further $50,000 would be spent on Cookamidgera Hall, $100,000 on Alectown Hall toilets, $190,000 on the Tullamore Multi-Courts and $60,000 on works at the Trundle Showground.

Of its original intentions for the $1 million grant application Council received preliminary advice it would be allowed to spend $300,000 to upgrade deficient water standpipes throughout the shire and $150,000 to employ someone to assist drought affected producers access various support opportunities available through government agencies, charities etc.

As part of its drought support measures Council is providing domestic and stock water free of charge to rural residents from Council’s standpipes.

If the application was successful $300,000 would be spent on renewing the six standpipes in the shire to provide more efficient, accessible water availability, including smart technology to assist in ascertaining useage and preparing for future droughts.

Appointment of a drought co-ordinator service, at a cost of $150,000, came out of the community forums with the plan for it to be hosted by Parkes Neighbourhood Central to coordinate the various groups providing relief.

“It is not a replacement for the current state and federal drought coordinator but an adjunct service,” council was told.

Of it’s original plans, the council was told “infrastructure is the preferred target to stimulate affected communities”.

The Drought Communities Program will provide funding of $81 million in 2018-19 to councils to deliver benefits to targeted drought-affected regions of Australia.

Each eligible council can receive funding for projects of up to $1 million with the grant amount up to 100 per cent of the project cost.

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