Parkes Shire upgrades provide welcome relief in ongoing drought

REVITALISED: Cr Neil Westcott and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack joined Tullamore school students to officially open the new Tullamore Multicourts. Photo: Supplied.
REVITALISED: Cr Neil Westcott and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack joined Tullamore school students to officially open the new Tullamore Multicourts. Photo: Supplied.

Construction works to revitalise six Parkes Shire townships are now complete, thanks to the $1 million funding Parkes Shire Council received as part of the Federal Government's investment in boosting the economy in drought-stricken communities.

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced in August last year that 60 councils in drought-affected areas would each receive the funding.

The projects include upgrades to Cookamidgera's central hall, the Carrington Hotel's lower floor at Peak Hill, new toilet blocks for the Alectown Hall, improved irrigation for the Bogan Gate Memorial Park, a new amenities block at Trundle and modern, multi-purpose sports courts at Tullamore.

Federal Member for Riverina Michael McCormack said the Australian Government's $1 million investment had employed local tradespeople, apprentices, specialist tradies and general helpers.

"These projects have provided a vital economic stimulus for our communities during these tough times of drought by providing places to get together, host events, attract tourists and support locals in catching up with community members," Mr McCormack said.

"The construction projects were identified through strategic planning, drought forum meetings and direct contact with local representatives from each township.

"Upgrading infrastructure that supports each of these communities is a legacy that will last long beyond this drought and will help build resilient and sustainable rural communities."

Minister for Drought David Littleproud said the Drought Communities Programme Extension lets local councils choose projects that will deliver the benefits their communities need the most," Minister Littleproud said.

"These are local solutions, not Canberra solutions," Minister Littleproud said.

"Projects like standpipe upgrades will deliver free domestic and stock water for rural residents, building long-term resilience while giving the local economy a boost right now."

Parkes Shire Mayor Ken Keith thanked the government for its financial support during this extended dry period.

"The long-lasting benefits of these projects are already being realised, having boosted local employment and procurement, as well as addressing a number of social and community needs," Cr Keith said.

The projects were jointly funded with the Federal Government investing $1 million, the NSW Government $200,000 and Parkes Shire Council $52,000.

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