Scott Buchholz and the Liberal National Government have delivered an additional $1 million in economic support for drought-stricken communities through the extension of the Drought Communities Programme (DCP).
Federal Member for Wright, Scott Buchholz announced the funding, saying it will provide immediate economic stimulus in the Lockyer Valley, to support local businesses and create local jobs in the drought hit region.
“Our government understands the tough nature of this drought and hardship of communities in the Lockyer Valley at this time. That is why we have announced a further round of funding for the Lockyer Valley Regional Council, to undertake projects of economic and social benefit to the community.
“I know this drought is felt just as hard on the main streets of our major centres such as Laidley and Gatton as it is in the back paddocks of Grantham and Blenheim. That is why we have continued to step-up our drought response, as the drought worsened.
“This is the second round of DCP funding provided to Lockyer Valley Regional Council, to help deliver local projects and to support farmers and the towns and communities around them that rely on the agricultural economy,” Mr Buchholz said.
“Under the leadership of Mayor Tanya Milligan, Council has identified a number of projects to create work for around 60 people and support local businesses.
Lockyer Valley Mayor, Cr Tanya Milligan welcomed the announcement and thanked Scott Buchholz and the Federal Government for their work in supporting the Lockyer Valley.
“This funding will go a long way in supporting the local community through the challenges of the ongoing drought.
“The previous round allowed Council to engage more than 120 residents in paid work, with most materials for projects being sourced locally and an additional $1m injected into the local economy.
“Our riparian weed management program alone engaged almost 70 local landholders in training and certification, with more than 40 of those participants contracted to undertake weed eradication work.
“The new funding will be used to employ a local drought support coordinator until the end of the year, upgrade a range of community facilities across the region and undertake another riparian weed management program,” Mayor Milligan said.
Mr Buchholz said he enjoyed working with the previous Council and looked forward to continuing the productive relationship with the recently elected Council.
“I’m working day and night with the Lockyer Valley to support our drought hit towns, farmers and businesses – empowering local communities to be at the forefront of the recovery effort.
“I thoroughly enjoy the working relationship I have with Mayor Milligan and the entire team at the Lockyer Valley Council. I look forward to continuing that with the new council. Undoubtedly there are great challenges ahead with the continuing drought and the coronavirus recovery,” said Mr Buchholz.
Mr Buchholz | Scott O’Connell – 0413 424 384
Mayor Milligan | Neil Williamson – 0400 848 198
The Lockyer Valley Economic Stimulus Drought Project is made up of four main activities:
- Local Drought Support Coordinator including the development of an Adverse Events Plan;
- Riparian Rangers – creek reserve weed management;
- Regional Parks Upgrades; and
- Pedestrian Accessibility Upgrades.
The Project is expected to engage approximately 60 local people in work, primarily as contractors, for various periods of time during the funding period. It is expected that two-thirds of those employed will be drought-affected landholders including farmers and farm workers. The other third will primarily be local trade-based contractors. The result of this level of local employment/engagement is that the majority of the $1m in funding will be spent locally with both suppliers for the Project activities as well as in grocery stores, hairdressers, etc by the individual people engaged.
Some aspects of the Project such as the Local Drought Support Coordinator and Riparian Rangers activities are aimed at improving resilience of both rural landholders and local businesses and will complement the Adverse Events Plan that the Local Drought Support Coordinator will lead the development of.
Media note: File photo prior to social distancing measures and the Coronavirus pandemic.