Councils celebrate grant boost


 KAP state Leader and Member for Mt Isa Rob Katter has welcomed the commitment of $7.3 million in grants for drought affected councils in the electorate.

 The projects, designed to assist councils who are suffering from the downturn in the agricultural sector will see a rise in jobs and infrastructure thanks to the combined efforts of both state and local governments.

 “This is  a result of ongoing discussions which will welcome investment back into the region,” Mr Katter said.

 “All 12 projects are a boost for employment in our towns and will put cash back in the tills of our local pubs and grocery stores,”

 The grants include over $ 1 million in extra funding to go towards the reconstruction of the Winton Waltzing Matilda Centre which was destroyed in a fire down earlier this year.

 Cloncurry Recreational Grounds will also receive a facelift with over $200,000 provided for a kiosk extension and updated amenities.

“These public event facilities and council amenities are important for continued revenue in our area, through both sports and tourism,” Mr Katter said.

“The extra $1 million directed to Mount Isa for sewerage is money that council won’t need to find off ratepayers.”

 However despite the list of grants, Mr Katter is still hopeful more substantial assistance will be provided to the drought declared communities through a debt reconstruction board.  

 “Projects are great for our areas, but to ensure the survival of the bush we need a more permanent solution – that means supporting the agricultural sector these smaller communities survive on,” Mr Katter said.

 “It is critical we have some solution to the increasing rural debt problem to stabilise and sustain our region.”

 “Local jobs and local spending will help us survive the tough times but big picture thinking needs to be put in place before it’s too late,” he said.

 The funding announced is part of the 2015-16 Local Government Grants and Subsidies Program.

 

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