Infrastructure projects fast-tracked to keep the wheels turning in country towns
The NSW Government has fast-tracked 22 major shovel ready projects in regional NSW to provide a critical economic boost for towns and cities facing one of the worst droughts on record.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said $96 million from the NSW Government’s Drought Stimulus Package will fund significant infrastructure projects, providing immediate work and improved off-farm industry drought resilience.
Mr Barilaro said the funding gives local councils the green light to engage the construction companies, suppliers and workers who will deliver infrastructure projects that will help drive business activity and support jobs.
“Farmers are being hit hard by drought and the impact of this drought is now reaching into our towns and cities, so it’s vital to support off-farm industries by driving business activity and generating new opportunities,” Mr Barilaro said.
“This funding will keep people in work by putting dollars into pay packets, cash that tradies, suppliers and other workers will spend at local businesses such as cafes, retail stores and local services to keep money flowing through towns when rivers are not.
“Regional NSW is struggling through one of the worst droughts on record and every day the crippling impact extends further beyond the farm gate, so I’m pleased to announce these projects just one month after the stimulus package was announced.”
Mr Barilaro announced funding for projects in the Upper Hunter including a $4.25 million upgrade of four major road routes in Singleton LGA to ease traffic congestion for residents and mining trucks and $6.5 million for Scone Regional Airport upgrades, including rebuilding the runway.
Further announcements will be made at Dubbo, Gilgandra, Coonamble, Nyngan, Cobar, Broken Hill, Orange, Bathurst, Gunnedah, Deniliquin, Merimbula, Hilltops LGA and Queanbeyan.
“It’s important everyone in the bush, our farmers, families and businesses, know what NSW Government support is available to them, which is why I will personally deliver this new funding information to regional towns in the coming days,” Mr Barilaro said.
Mr Barilaro said the Drought Stimulus Package is one of many programs supporting and strengthening the resilience of towns, farms and businesses in regional NSW, improving the ability of off-farm industries to continue to operate when water is scarce.
More than $1.8 billion has been made available through the NSW Government’s Emergency Drought Relief Package, while regional water security is a focus of the Safe and Secure Water program and the $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund.
The next set of projects to be funded from the Drought Stimulus Package is already being assessed.
For further information about the NSW Government’s Drought Stimulus Package, go to http://www.nsw.gov.au/droughtstimuluspackage