$2 million drought program available for local agricultural leaders

By Charmayne Allison

MURRAY River Council has put the call out to local agricultural leaders for projects and initiatives to be funded under the Federal Government's Drought Communities Program.

Council was recently added to the list of eligible councils for the $2 million program.

Funding is targeted at projects that stimulate local community spending, use local resources, businesses and suppliers and/or will provide a long lasting benefit to communities and the agricultural industries on which they depend.

“The Drought Communities Program will provide welcome funding and enable our communities to undertake projects with lasting benefits that otherwise would not have been possible at this time,” MRC mayor Chris Bilkey said.

“To ensure transparency and that the funds are allocated to projects that provide an economic boost and long lasting benefits, we are looking to local business and agricultural industry leaders to provide project ideas so that we better understand where that money might best be spent.”

Council is seeking expressions of interest for projects that:

● increase employment in regions for locals and/or farmers/contractors whose employment has been affected by the drought (must ensure approximate numbers of jobs are estimated);

● improve levels of economic activity in regions (must explain in detail how the local economy will be affected by the project);

● increase productivity in regions (must explain how the project will encourage investment, business activities and local economic benefits);

● enable better retention of businesses, services and facilities (must explain how the benefits of the project will lead to better retention of businesses and services); and

● can be implemented by June 30, 2020 or December 31, 2020.

Expressions of interest will be received up until December 24, 2019.

Interested parties should contact council’s economic development department on 1300 087 004 or via [email protected] for more details.

Council will then make the final project recommendations to the Australian Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities in early 2020.