How new $1 million drought support will be spent in Lockyer
ADDITIONAL funding is flowing to the Lockyer Valley to support the region through the continuing drought.
The Federal Government announced an additional $1 million in economic support for the region, through the Drought Communities Program.
Member for Wright Scott Buchholz said the funding would provide “immediate economic stimulus” in the Lockyer Valley, to support local businesses and create 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,” he said.
“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.”
The new funding forms part of the second round of the drought program and will be provided to the Lockyer Valley Regional Council.
Mr Buchholz said the funding would help deliver local projects and support farmers.
“Under the leadership of Mayor Tanya Milligan, the council has identified a number of projects to create work for around 60 people and support local businesses,” he said.
Cr Milligan welcomed the announcement.
“This funding will go a long way in supporting the local community through the challenges of the ongoing drought,” Cr Milligan said.
“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.”
The project is expected to engage approximately 60 locals in work, primarily as contractors, for various periods of time during the funding period.
How the funding will be spent
It is expected that two-thirds of those employed will be drought-affected landholders including farmers and farm workers.
The other third will be local trade-based contractors.
Funding will also be used for “regional parks upgrades” and “pedestrian accessibility upgrades”.
“The new funding will be used to employ a local drought support co-ordinator until the end of the year, upgrade a range of community facilities across the region and undertake another riparian weed management program,” Cr 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,” he said.
“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.”