Light shows, infrastructure facelifts, water supply upgrades in latest drought funding round

Central, southern councils benefit from latest federal drought funding round

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Local governments throughout Queensland's central and south west this week received notification of the approval of applications under the federal government's latest round of Drought Communities Programme funding.

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Local governments throughout Queensland's central and south west this week received notification of the approval of applications under the federal government's latest round of Drought Communities Programme funding.

Each shire has received $1 million through the program that aims to provide short-term support through the drought by boosting local employment, public facilities and bringing people together for some good times.

In an ironic twist, the Murweh Shire Council will use some of the money it has been allocated towards displays, workshops and entertainment at the 30th anniversary event for the 1990 Charleville floods, as well as for the Augathella Rodeo weekend and Charleville show.

Upgraded public facilities that will bring a fresh look to the shire, in the form of upgrading the power and water reticulation supply to the Charleville showgrounds; improvement to the public children's pool in Charleville, stronger TV connectivity infrastructure for Morven, public lighting at Morven's recreational ground, and water reticulation improvements at Augathella's sporting oval; is the other focus for the shire.

In the Blackall-Tambo region, the shire has opted to concentrate on expanded internet coverage, a light installation and landscaped parks with its $1 million federal investment.

As well as boosting the council's point-to-point shire telecommunications coverage plan, it will build a back-up fuel supply depot at its depot so that there is a regional supply in times of natural disaster.

Kitchen upgrades and shed and fencing extensions are factored in for Tambo's Western Sports Complex, as are canteen extensions at the Blackall Saleyards, including shaded seating and landscaping, and water and sewerage mains upgrades.

Both Blackall-Tambo and Quilpie councils have focused on tourist retention projects, with an artistic light installation in Tambo, and with a virtual reality display in Quilpie.

As well, Quilpie Shire councillors have opted to spend their allocation on improved gravel roads, refurbishing the Quilpie racetrack, a streetscape program in Eromanga and shopfront refurbishments in Quilpie.

The Balonne Shire will utilise its $1 million to bring fresh, modern touches to several community facilities, upgrading the St George water pump station, the Dirranbandi Recreation Ground, the Thallon Park playground, and the Hebel Community Hall.

Also expecting a facelift are Bollon's Walter Austin Park, Bollon's aerodrome fencing, the St George Showgrounds, the Mungindi River Park, the river foreshore in St George, and Dirranbandi's Rail and River Precinct.

Also announced this week were the projects planned for the Goondiwindi Regional Council, which Maranoa MP and Minister for Drought David Littleproud said would give the town greater town water security.

He said the $1m would go into groundwater infrastructure.

"This will let Goondiwindi drill for drinkable groundwater to top up the town's supplies.

"It will also cover the cost of pipes and pumps so groundwater can be turned on at any time.

"This is infrastructure that will serve the town for decades to come and through future droughts.

"The Goondiwindi bores are a great example of how the Drought Communities Programme is building resilience in our rural communities."

Mr Littleproud said the money would give businesses in town confidence they can operate without heavy water restrictions, creating and protecting jobs.

"It will also create jobs for local tradies working on the project and business for local suppliers," he said, acknowledging that while there had been general rain in the central and south west, many had missed out, and that it took more than one or two rain events to get out of drought.

"One of the great things about DCP is that funds are driven down into local groups who have a say in which local is contracted to make the upgrades," he said.

"When community groups make these informed decisions, they are justifying projects that are worthwhile for that sports club or community.

"Drought certainly impacts on how we manage our businesses and personal lives, but it does not have to change how we get involved and support local groups and the community."

The story Light shows, infrastructure facelifts, water supply upgrades in latest drought funding round first appeared on Queensland Country Life.

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