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Funding for 30 new locally-led projects for drought-affected communities

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Through drought, bushfire and now COVID-19, the Australian Government continues to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our regional and rural communities to ensure they bounce back stronger than ever.

More than $1.1 million in Commonwealth funding will go towards 30 new projects under the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal's Tackling Tough Times Together program.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the latest tranche of funding will help communities access the resources they need to support one another through the ongoing effects of drought.

“2020 has been Australia’s toughest year in a long time and the resilience that rural and regional Australians continue to demonstrate is remarkable. These projects will reduce social isolation, develop local capacity and leadership skills, address disadvantage and can increase educational participation,” Minister McCormack said.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said projects supported through the program help regional families and businesses cope with the stress of the drought while stimulating the economy and renewing local infrastructure.

“Most of the community organisations receiving funding rely on the generous time and effort of volunteers, but have faced significantly reduced volunteering capacities due to the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19.

“That’s why we are proud to continue supporting the Foundation’s important work at such a critical time – many projects funded in this round will reduce volunteer fatigue and strengthen social connections in drought-affected communities,” Minister Littleproud said.

The Australian Government’s total of $15 million in funding assistance to the Tackling Tough Times Together program has already supported hundreds of projects run by local groups in drought-affected regional communities in previous rounds.

Projects funded under the latest round include a new skatepark for kids in Condingup, silo art in Paringa, an outdoor pavilion in Moonie and a playground and outdoor space at the Jerilderie Long Day Care to bolster access to local childcare services.

“With money already flowing through rolling grants as part of our more than $10 billion drought support package, we are doing what it takes to help regional communities through these extremely difficult and stressful times,” Minister Littleproud said.

“I encourage all eligible community groups to apply for the ongoing funding available under the Tackling Tough Times Together program to make their much-needed initiatives a reality.”

More information on the Tackling Tough Times Together program and the latest round of recipients can be found on the Foundation’s website.

Photo credit: AAP