Diamantina Shire set to benefit from $500,000 drought project

Media Release


04 May 2016

Joint release with:

Barnaby Joyce

Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources
Leader of The Nationals

Bruce Scott

Member for Maranoa

Diamantina Shire Council has received an additional $500,000 boost under the Drought Communities Programme to upgrade the Birdsville Caravan Park.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Barnaby Joyce said the project would help increase economic activity in the region by providing more accommodation options for local events, conferences and tourism.

“The Coalition Government's Drought Communities Programme is providing $35 million over four years, to stimulate drought affected communities through job creation and economic activity for local businesses,” Minister Joyce said.

“The Birdsville Caravan Park upgrade will provide additional accommodation cabins and powered sites with electricity and water to cater for an additional 62 people. The upgrade is expected to be complete by mid-2017.”

Federal LNP Member for Maranoa Bruce Scott said this project will help relieve the burden of the drought on the local economy and tourism industry and create much needed jobs.

“This project comes after the $900,000 Birdsville short-stay accommodation village upgrade project was announced last month,” Mr Scott said.

“Upgrading the Birdsville Caravan Park and constructing the short-stay accommodation village will help accommodate additional tourists who travel for Birdsville's signature events—The Birdsville Cup races and The Big Red Bash.

“This takes the Coalition Government's investment in the local community to $1.4 million. These projects complement the range of other drought assistance measures we have announced since we came to government,” Mr Scott said.

Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash said the Drought Communities Programme was an important measure under the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper to support communities in need.

“Projects funded under this Coalition Government programme improve amenities for local residents and provide an economic boost through the use of local businesses and suppliers,” Minister Nash said.

“Moreover, these projects support the development of non-farming sectors, such as tourism, which will help diversify the region's economy and strengthen it into the future.

“Up to 54 people will gain employment in the construction of these projects.

“This is one of the many measures the Government is delivering to support farmers and the broader community affected by drought, including concessional loans and income support through the Farm Household Allowance, tax assistance and free rural financial counselling services.

“The Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper makes available nearly $3 billion over the next 10 years to provide farming families, farm businesses and rural communities with support to prepare for, manage through, and recover from drought.

“Although some areas of western Queensland, including Diamantina, have recently experienced heavy rainfall and flooding and are receiving disaster assistance to restore public assets, the projects funded under the Drought Communities Programme will provide long-term and ongoing benefits to communities that have experienced drought conditions for a number of years.”

To find out about other support, visit agriculture.gov.au/assistance. For information on the Farm Household Allowance call the Department of Human Services Farmer Assistance Hotline on 13 23 16.

More information on the Drought Communities Programme can be found at investment.infrastructure.gov.au/funding/dcp/index.aspx.