Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O'Brien is encouraging local communities to apply for a share of $200 million in funding under the Round 5 of the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF), with applications now open.
"2020 was a challenging year for Wide Bay communities, with bushfires, drought and the pandemic but the BBRF will help to kick-start 2021 by supporting community-driven projects to revitalise our region at a time it is most needed," Mr O'Brien said.
Round 5 of Building Better Regions funding includes $100 million in dedicated funding for tourism-related infrastructure boosting regional tourism recovery, while maintaining $100 million for broader community infrastructure and investment.
"I encourage local organisations to consider applying for either the community investments stream or the infrastructure projects stream to enhance our community facilities, create much-needed jobs and promote social inclusion through this time," Mr O'Brien said.
Applications are now open and can be submitted through the online portal at www.business.gov.au/bbrf. Applications close on 5 March 2021, with successful applicants expected to be announced in mid-2021.
"Wide Bay has already seen significant benefit with more than $7.5 million already invested through previous rounds of the Building Better Regions Fund, including $1.5 million for cultural centre and fossil museum in Murgon; $42,539 for a training room and shelter at the Sunshine Butterflies 'Our Backyard' disability support facility in Cooroibah; and $140,000 to construct a new educational and activity centre at Hope Reins in Gympie," Mr O'Brien said.
Round 4 of the program also provided $20,000 to upgrade the 30-year-old toilets and showers at the Cooroy Badminton Club Hall and $60,000 for Noosa Council to assist with the program for the Noosa Alive 2021 festival, while Round 3 funded $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.
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.
If potential applicants have any questions regarding eligibility or delivery of the program, they can contact the AusIndustry Business Grants Hub on 13 28 46 to discuss their individual circumstances.
Prospective applicants are also encouraged to contact their local Regional Development Australia (RDA) committee to discuss their application. More information including contact details for your local RDA can be found at www.rda.gov.au.