Grants help drought-affected communities to tackle tough times together

Bendigo, 11 September 2019: Four projects that will benefit communities in drought-affected New South Wales and Queensland will share $112,187 in grant funding, as part of the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal’s (FRRR) Tackling Tough Times Together (TTTT) program. 

Communities in drought-affected New South Wales and Queensland will share $112,187 in grant funding

The projects include fire protection at the Wee Waa Showgrounds, a school excursion for primary school students in north-east NSW, skills training in South Western Queensland and a centenary celebration at the Biddeston State School.

Emma Thomas, Program Manager Recovery & Resilience said the Tackling Tough Times Together program is all about ensuring communities can support one another through the drought.

"These four projects all involve important upcoming opportunities for communities to connect, and for some, potentially drive alternative income streams for their local community. They are great examples of the diversity of projects this program can fund, which in turn reflects the fact that different communities need different support. We're delighted to be able to support these fantastic projects, and welcome more applications like them.”

The successful projects are:

  • Biddeston Primary P&C Association, Biddeston Qld, $4,530 – The provision of fireworks, animal nursery and pony rides, entertainers and face painting at the Biddeston State School Centenary Celebration in late October 2019. Drought-declared since 2014, the small population of 284 is under significant pressure and the event will bring together students past and present, along with the rest of the community to celebrate their heritage and future.
  • Augathella and District Progress Association Incorporated, Cunnamulla, Augathella, Tambo, Blackall, Charleville Qld, $11,143 – Five workshops will be run by Pointer Remote Roles, an organisation that connects employers with skilled employees living in remote locations. The workshops will contribute to increasing the job pipeline and facilitate entry into the workforce, improving the economic resilience of these remote communities.
  • Bellata Parents & Citizens Association, Bellata, Bullarah and Mallowa NSW, $18,566 – Financial support for 24 students and nine adult supervisors from local primary schools to travel to Canberra for school camp, covering transportation, accommodation, entries and catering costs. The camp generally takes place once every four years. The three small schools are based in remote communities where most parents are employed in agriculture, which has lower incomes in recent years. 
  • Wee Waa Racecourse and Showground Trust, Wee Waa NSW, $77,948 – To be able to host large events like the Wee Waa Agricultural Show, The Cotton Capital Country Music Muster and the Wee Waa Cotton Cocktail evening, the newly-constructed Pavilion at the Wee Waa Showgrounds Pavilion requires upgraded fire protection. This grant will allow installation of two 7,500 litre tanks, an electric pump and two diesel pumps with fire hydrants. This will mean the organisation and community can become more sustainable, retain and attract events in town, and make it easier for the community to come together.

Tackling Tough Times Together is funded with the support of more than 15 donors, including the Australian Government which committed $15M to be distributed over three years. Generous contributions have also been made by the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, ANZ, Paul Ramsay Foundation, Sidney Myer Fund, Pratt Foundation, Australia Post, Westpac Group, The Snow Foundation, Henroth Group, Stockland CARE Foundation, Santos, Ronald Geoffrey Arnott Foundation, NRMA, Rex Airlines and private donors from across the nation.

The assessment team is currently working through a large volume of applications, and the next group of successful projects will be announced at the end of October.

Applications are always open for this program and groups in drought-affected areas are encouraged to apply for funding to help their community come together to tackle the drought. The cut-off date for the next application round is 24 October 2019 and outcomes advised in February 2020.

More information on the Tackling Tough Times Together grant program is available on FRRR's website.

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