McKinlay Shire gets drought funding boost

Media Release

WT401/2015

01 December 2015

Joint release with:

Barnaby Joyce

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources

McKinlay Shire infrastructure is set for a significant boost with $1.5 million in funding approved for four projects as part of the Coalition Government's $35 million Drought Communities Programme.

Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the investment will help build and upgrade community and tourism infrastructure across the McKinlay Shire.

“Many communities across Australia have been impacted by drought and the government is taking action by investing in projects that will create jobs and stimulate economic activity through the Drought Communities Programme,” Mr Truss said.

“Projects to be undertaken in McKinlay Shire include a refurbishment of the Jan Eckford Centre including upgraded audio-visual facilities, an improved workspace area with storage and a gallery that can host local and international artists.

“A new amenities block and five new drive-through caravan sites will be built at the Julia Creek caravan park, amenities at the Kev Bannah oval will be upgraded and the town will get its own new 11m x 6m artesian hot tub.

“Investment in these kinds of upgrades and new facilities can help to keep tourists coming through drought-affected towns, supporting local businesses. These projects also generate employment and help to diversify and strengthen the local economy so it can better cope with the impacts of drought.”

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Barnaby Joyce said 31 jobs were expected to be created in McKinlay Shire thanks to the funding support.

“The Australian Government is providing $35 million over four years, including $20 million in 2015–16, to ensure local communities continue to function as they should,” Mr Joyce said.

“The Drought Communities Programme has already paid economic dividends for other councils, with residents in the McKinlay Shire now set to reap the benefits.

“Just recently the Australian Government approved funding for the Balonne, Barcoo and Paroo Shire Councils. These councils have estimated that almost 100 jobs will be created during construction of their projects. Today's funding approval for McKinlay Shire Council is expected to see another 31 jobs created, continuing the Australian Government's commitment to improving national prosperity.

“The Drought Communities Programme has received 40 project submissions since commencing, highlighting the importance of the programme to drought affected communities.”

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