In April 2020, Parkes Shire Council received $1 million in funding for drought projects from the Federal Government, as part of their Drought Communities Program, to boost the local economy during difficult times. Council is pleased to advise that these projects are now complete and Federal Member for Riverina, Michael McCormack returned to Parkes today to officially announce the completion of the projects.

Mayor of Parkes Shire Cr Ken Keith OAM said, "The funding was spent in our community, which was really suffering from the effects of the drought. We welcomed the assistance which helped to support our community's resilience during those difficult times."

Federal Member for Riverina Michael McCormack said the Australian Government’s $1 million investment had employed local tradespeople, apprentices, specialist tradies and general helpers.

"These projects have provided a vital economic stimulus for our communities during the tough times of drought, by providing places to get together, host events, attract tourists and support locals in catching up with community members.

"The construction projects were identified through strategic planning, drought forum meetings and direct contact with local representatives from each township. Upgrading infrastructure that supports each of these communities is a legacy that will last long beyond this drought and will help build resilient and sustainable rural communities," Mr McCormack said.

One of the projects which received funding was the removal stage structure for the Cooke Park Pavilionto help to facilitate more events for the Shire. The Pavilion was officially opened by The Hon. Michael McCormack

“The long-lasting benefits of these projects are already being realised, having boosted local employment and procurement, as well as addressing a number of social and community needs,” added the Mayor.

Council used the $1m in Federal Government funding to complete a range of projects across the Shire to support communities, local businesses and our farmers who have all been severely impacted by the ongoing drought. The projects included:

Drought Response OfficerA Drought Response Officer who was employed to deliver a program of support activities across the Shire to rural producers and businesses as well as community events to encourage social outings and involvement;
Parkes Library RefurbishmentRefurbishing the new Parkes library to complete a new build project to provide suitable fittings and furniture and support a new university centre for the region.
Bogan Gate MaintenanceRevitalise Bogan Gate township with reverse cycle air conditioning for all rooms in the Bogan Gate Hall.
Cookamidgera Hall Meal Room and WalkwayComplete the Cookamidgera Hall upgrades to have the hall weatherproof. The works undertaken by this funding has completed the hall;
Pola Park AmenitiesConstruct new amenities at Pola Park in Tullamore (the main oval precinct) to provide fit for purpose toilet and shower facilities;
Cooke Park Pavilion StageNew portable stage to extend the stage at the new MPC in Cooke Park - helping to facilitate more events for the Shire;
Changerooms at Berryman OvalUpgrade changerooms at Berryman Oval in Trundle to enable the grounds to host female friendly events by refiguring an existing building;
Memorial Park SheltersShade shelters installed at Memorial Park in Peak Hill to encourage more social gatherings at the green space in the township;
Bollards in Cooke ParkFit for purpose bollards in Cooke Park in Parkes to complement the new Multipurpose Centre and allow for markets and other events in the park;
Adverse Event PlanThe completion of our local Adverse Event Plan for the Shire.