Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien has urged Wide Bay's drought-affected communities to act fast to benefit from the latest $200 million round of the Building Better Regions Fund.
Mr O'Brien said Round 4 of the Building Better Regions Fund will be wholly and solely dedicated to helping the communities hardest hit by the crippling drought to get local infrastructure and community-building projects off the ground.
"This round is dedicated to unlocking the economic potential of drought-affected areas in rural, remote and regional Australia, and I encourage all eligible organisations in Wide Bay with a project ready to commence to apply," Mr O'Brien said.
Applications close on 19 December 2019 so Mr O'Brien urged eligible organisations to get their applications ready as soon as possible.
"Wide Bay has already seen significant benefit with more than $5 million already invested through previous rounds of the Building Better Regions Fund, including $2.5 million to re-invent the Sunshine Beach Surf Lifesaving Club, $92,414 for new lighting at Gympie Showgrounds, and $15,000 for a new strategic plan for Maryborough Showgrounds and Equestrian Park all funded in Round 3," Mr O'Brien said.
Other projects include $2.5 million for Noosa Council's Digital Hub at Peregian Beach, $390,328 to upgrade the South Street boat ramp at Maryborough, $34,500 for Cooroy Chamber of Commerce to organise a body art festival, and funding for tourism strategies for Mary Valley and Cooloola Cove.
"These projects support growth in Wide Bay, and I am keen to see the benefits of this new Round 4 of the Building Better Regions Fund assist our drought-affected communities by providing projects that offer long term benefits," Mr O'Brien said.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the announced this as part of the Federal Government's latest package of assistance to combat the drought.
"Communities across the country are suffering from the effects of this prolonged dry-spell and this extra funding will help get local projects and infrastructure work underway to strengthen regional economies, keep tradies in work and money generating through local stores," Mr McCormack said.
"The BBRF is a central plank of our commitment to supporting stronger regions, supporting local jobs by investing in 'shovel-ready' projects across regional Australia that are doing it tough during this drought to ensure communities thrive and survive.
"Previous projects have ranged from building community-based aged care facilities, training programs to support young people in starting their own business and improving freight access to airports.
"The first three rounds of BBRF were highly competitive with more than 2,600 applications received and 832 projects funded, totalling just over $643 million."
Further information on eligibility and how to apply is available at www.business.gov.au/bbrf.