DROUGHT RELIEF: Many farmers across the South Burnett, like Liam Barton, would benefit from the funding to the region. Picture: Liam Barton
DROUGHT RELIEF: Many farmers across the South Burnett, like Liam Barton, would benefit from the funding to the region. Picture: Liam Barton

Where $1m drought funding will be spent

AS SOUTH Burnett ­Regional Council waits for the approval of another $1 million grant under the Drought Communities Program, it has revealed how the money would be spent.

After receiving the same amount of funding in 2018, Mayor Keith Campbell told those at the January council meeting, that if approved, the $1 million extension would fund projects which fit certain criteria.

“The projects (the) council identifies need to provide employment for people whose work opportunities have been impacted by drought,” Cr Campbell said.

“It has to stimulate local community spending and use local resources, businesses and suppliers.

“It also has to provide a long-lasting benefit to communities and the agricultural industries on which they depend.”

The economic officer’s recommendations were that the funds were divided into five categories.

Rural support initiatives would receive $209,000; parks/streetscape and refurbishment works would receive $300,000; and upgrades to footpaths and walking tracks receive have $166,000.

Community buildings and asset upgrades would receive $225,000; and $100,000 would be allocated to bitumen and drainage works.

Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff said the funding would provide a fantastic opportunity to undertake work around the region.

“I am excited by the rural support initiatives,” Cr Duff said.

“If we get approved, a per cent of that is going towards, what we’re hoping, a drought officer who will go around and support our farmers.

“Also under the rural support initiatives would be money to take them to FarmFest and also run another Farmers Big Day out in the Blackbutt area of our region because we had one in Wondai, which was very successful.”

Councillor Terry Fleischfresser said every dollar gained from a grant eased the tension on rates for the whole community.

Cr Campbell said even though funding had not been officially signed off by the Federal Government, he expected it would be approved.

He said if the council was to receive the million-dollar extension, the projects would all need to be completed by December 21, 2020.

South Burnett

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