Deputy Prime Minister announces funding for Blackwater and Gemfields projects

Media Release

WT415/2015

07 December 2015

Joint release with:

Ken O'Dowd

Federal Member for Flynn

Two key projects in Blackwater and the Gemfields have secured funding support under Round Two of the National Stronger Regions Fund.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said Central Highlands Regional Council will receive $6.25 million to build a new aquatic centre in Blackwater, and almost $110,000 to help develop the Sapphire Gemfields Wetland Reserve.

“The Australian Government today approved more than $293 million in funding for 111 projects across Australia, continuing our commitment to deliver the infrastructure regional Australian's need to prosper,” Mr Truss said.

“This includes investments in transport infrastructure, cultural amenities and healthcare facilities, each of which will improve economic growth in regional areas experiencing disadvantage.

“The quality of applications was significantly better than Round One and highlights the importance of this programme to Australia's regions. I am delighted to see how competitive this round was and I am looking forward to a stronger regional Australia as a result of these projects.”

Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd said both projects would improve local amenity for residents.

“The construction of the Blackwater Aquatic Centre means residents will be able to take a cool break during the warmer months of the year in a 10-lane 50 metre pool. Importantly the facility will also have areas suitable for children and will complement the existing rugby, touch and netball facilities,” Mr O'Dowd said.

“The Sapphire Gemfields Wetland Reserve is an important natural attraction in the area, with the 14 hectare freshwater wetland hosting a range of local flora and fauna throughout the year.

“Our plan is to construct more than 3.6 kilometres of gravel walking trails with accompanying educational and directional signs, as well two viewing areas, for local and visiting bushwalkers.

“We will also recognise the region's heritage by restoring a historically significant fossicker's dwelling, which was built by one of the residents in the Sapphire area.”

For more information on the National Stronger Regions Fund visit http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/funding/NSRF/.