Drought Communities Program

The Australian Government Drought Communities Program Extension guidelines have been released and Blayney Shire is one of 60 Councils eligible to access $1 million to assist funding projects that support local community infrastructure and other drought relief projects. The key criteria stipulated through the funding guidelines seeks to provide local employment, stimulate local community spending into local shops and suppliers and provide long-lasting benefit to communities and the agricultural industries on which they depend. 

The focus for Council is to facilitate achievable projects that meet the guidelines, which benefit the Blayney Shire based Agricultural/Farm Suppliers, contractors, trades and business.  Council made a commitment to consult with the community on potential projects when this funding was announced in late August and now the guidelines are available we are inviting Expressions of Interest for projects from local Town and Village Committees and Progress Associations, Community Groups, Show Societies, Showground and Recreation Reserve Trusts to be submitted by Friday 9 November 2018 for consideration by Council.  Council will review and endorse those eligible applications for this funding from the Federal Government on the behalf of the community which deliver the best possible outcomes for our local area.

Each project is expected to lead to the retention of employment of locals, contribute to the economic activity of communities/regions, and help keep local businesses, services and facilities operating in the local government area when the impact of drought hits.  Projects might include for example; fencing materials, earth moving works, new sheds (steel frames and replacement roofing), new kitchens, installation of air conditioning or improved water harvesting and supply to support local businesses.  You will be asked to demonstrate how your potential project will support our local businesses, farm suppliers and trades. 

There are numerous Showgrounds/Recreation Grounds (Newbridge, Carcoar, Neville, Blayney, Lyndhurst) and Halls/School of Arts Buildings (Lyndhurst, Mandurama, Millthorpe, Newbridge, Tallwood, Carcoar, Neville, Barry and Hobbys Yards) within the Shire.  Council is Reserve Trust Manager for some of these community facilities, however most are cared for and managed by community organisations, Trusts and Committees such as Lyndhurst Team Penning, Junction Reefs Reserve, Neville Show Society, Blayney A&P Association, Carcoar PA&H Society just to name a few.  Upgrades to these community facilities and projects may be eligible for funding.

Your responses will help Council submit an application on your behalf or collect a number of projects to submit as a group.  

We encourage local community groups to get in touch with Council directly, or to contact their local Development Coordinator, if they have a community-based project idea for consideration as part of the consultation process.

A proposed project application must be for at least $25,000 of eligible expenditure and be completed by 30 June 2019.

Eligible expenditure items may include the cost of:

- suppliers, consultants and contracted labour undertaking eligible project activities;
- materials required to deliver eligible project activities;
- purchasing, leasing or hiring equipment required to deliver eligible project activities;
- holding events; and
- other drought relief activities (including water carting for human consumption).

Ineligible expenditure includes:

- payment of salaries for existing staff or contractors, although projects may be carried out by existing workforces;
- computer software or hardware that is not an integral part of the funded capital project;
- a council’s core or business-as-usual operations, which council rates and other government funding usually funds;
- purchases of land, buildings, vehicles or mobile capital equipment (e.g. trucks and earthmoving equipment);
- expenditure incurred prior to 19 August 2018;
- undertaking studies or investigations; or
- the development of private or commercial ventures, including licensed areas of registered clubs.

Funding Guidelines can be found at https://www.business.gov.au/assistance/drought-communities-programme#key-documents

To submit an EOI please complete the Expression of Interest – Drought Communities Program Extension 2018 Blayney Shire Council form.

Council will be reviewing and endorsing an initial list of projects to be submitted under this program at the November Council meeting.  It is the intention of Council that there may be a few rounds of this EOI process to ensure the funding is distributed as the program is intended in a timely manner.  Any approval and offer of funding remains the decision of the Australian Government which will undertake the final assessment process and make a determination of the applications submitted by Council.

If you have any questions please contact Council’s General Manager, Rebecca Ryan on 6368 2104.
Last modified: 11 Oct 2018

Blayney Shire Council

91 Adelaide Street, Blayney NSW 2799
PO Box 62, Blayney NSW 2799
Telephone: (02) 6368 2104
Email: council@blayney.nsw.gov.au

Council opening hours:
Monday to Friday
9.00am - 4.30pm

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