Council is currently in a fortunate position of having two allocations of funding available to apply for local community infrastructure projects: the Australian Government's Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program (LRCI Program) for $1.3 million and the NSW Government Resources for Regions Fund for $1.67 million.

In May, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a new $500 million LRCI Program to accelerate priority projects that will help to stimulate the local economy following the impacts of drought, bushfires and COVID-19.

The Parkes Shire has been allocated $1.3 million to support Council in the delivery of local road improvements and social infrastructure projects.

Parkes Shire Mayor, Cr Ken Keith OAM said, "this is great news for our community and will in some small way play a role in helping our community recover from the devastating economic impacts of three years of drought, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic."

"We want to ensure that this funding has lasting economic and social benefits for our region, so it's important that the community help to identify their priority projects and get to have their say, that really helps Councillors with the decisions of where to allocate these funds."

Eligible projects must involve the construction, maintenance and/or improvements to council-owned assets that are generally accessible to the public. Projects will need to deliver benefits to the community, such as improved accessibility, visual  amenity and safety benefits.

The Resources for Regions program demonstrates a commitment by the NSW Government to support mining-impacted communities in NSW. The program aims to support the ongoing prosperity of mining communities in regional NSW by providing economic opportunities, improved amenity and positive social outcomes.

The Resources for Regions (R4R) program acknowledges the significant benefits mining delivers to the NSW economy as well as the unique and diverse needs that arise in mining communities. The program will fund infrastructure projects and community programs that help address these unique and diverse needs.

$50 million in funding has been allocated across identified eligible Local Government Areas in NSW, with $1.67 million available to the Parkes Shire.

All projects must deliver public benefit and cannot be a privately-owned asset. Eligible projects must mitigate the impact of mining on local infrastructure or deliver new economic opportunities, improve community amenity and wellbeing.

Council has put together a list of potential projects for both funding programs and locals are invited to help shortlist these. Head to www.yoursay.parkes.nsw.gov.au to like or comment on a proposed project, or contribute your own ideas.

Voting closes Friday 31 July 2020. The information gathered will be used by Council to make an informed decision on the final list of projects to be submitted to the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications for consideration.

Council will need to complete LRCI project works by 30 June 2021 to receive their full nominal share of funding. R4R projects have a longer delivery timeframe with 3 years for completion.

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