Bathurst Regional Council in the New South Wales central west is benefitting from the Australian Government’s Drought Communities Programme.
In 2019, Council received $1 million from the programme to fund a range of infrastructure projects and assist with local community needs.
Council invested in 13 projects across the Shire, including 50,000 litre water tanks for several village communities, totalling more than $100,000.
“During the extremely dry times at the end of 2019, the provision of community water tanks to local villages was a perfect investment project for the Drought Communities Programme,” Bathurst Mayor, Cr Bobby Bourke said.
“We purchased, installed and provided the first fill for new 50,000 litre rain water tanks in Freemantle, Sofala, Hill End, Trunkey Creek, Rockley, Yetholme, Peel, Sunny Corner, Wattle Flat and Georges Plains.
“Many of these tanks are co-located with Rural Fire Service facilities or other existing community facilities. They were installed to meet a range of objectives including additional water for firefighting purposes, water for use at community events, and to help drought-proof these communities.”
Cr Bourke explained Council was committed to supporting resilient village communities across the region in times of drought and beyond.
“We were one of 128 councils to receive funding in Round One of the programme. Project funding is intended to provide short-term support, including by boosting local employment and procurement, and addressing social and community needs.”
On top of the water tank project, Council invested its $1 million Drought Communities Program funding into a raft of local projects, including:
- Improvements to community halls
- New playground equipment for Berry Park
- Machattie Park historic fernery renewal works
- Marketing promotion and event assistance for small villages
- Villages accessibility improvements and footpaths
- Expansion of car parking for Meals on Wheels
- Chaplain amenities at Mount Panorama Motor Racing Circuit
- Hector Park off-leash dog area improvements
- Rockley Mill and Stables Museum maintenance
Cr Bourke said the Shire was recently allocated a further $1 million under Round Two of the Drought Communities Program, and has submitted a list of proposed projects for approval.
“This investment into projects will result in new and improved infrastructure and facilities around our region, particularly in our rural villages,” he said.
“It will also provide a vital boost in employment for local contractors in a range of fields.”