$3 million boost for bush and border communities hit hard by pandemic

The NSW Government today announced $3 million in funding to boost COVID-19 response efforts for small rural and border councils to support their communities.

Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock said NSW Partnerships: Local Councils Program – Stage 2 would provide grants of $90,000 each for 33 bush and border councils.

“While our State is reopening as COVID-19 restrictions ease and vaccination rates increase, we need to ensure we continue to support our vulnerable communities hardest hit by the pandemic,” Mrs Hancock said.

“The grants, targeted at small rural councils and those adjoining state and territory borders, recognise the additional challenges they have faced during the pandemic such as resource constraints, isolation, the tyranny of distance, border closures and other cross-border impacts.”

Mrs Hancock said Stage 1 of the program provided funding to the former 12 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of concern in Sydney.

“Now I am delighted to extend financial support to our small rural and border councils and communities,” Mrs Hancock said.

“I also want to congratulate our councils for their dedication and commitment to continuing to support their communities during such unprecedented challenges.”

Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward said the NSW Government is dedicated to supporting those in need during the pandemic and building community resilience.

“These grants will help ensure critical support for some of our most vulnerable living in our rural and border areas, including Indigenous communities, migrants, seniors, and people with a disability,” Mrs Ward said.

“These council-led initiatives could include caseworkers, bilingual workers, mental health support, communication activities to reach target groups, emergency meals, transport to vaccination hubs, and small business assistance, particularly in tourism and hospitality.

“As COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease and our vaccination rates increase, it’s paramount that we have the right support in place across our rural and border communities to ensure no one is left behind.”

The program will provide funding to the following councils:

  • Albury
  • Balranald
  • Bega Valley
  • Berrigan
  • Bogan
  • Bourke
  • Brewarrina
  • Broken Hill
  • Carrathool
  • Central Darling
  • Coolamon
  • Coonamble
  • Federation
  • Gilgandra
  • Greater Hume
  • Gwydir
  • Hay
  • Inverell
  • Kyogle
  • Lockhart
  • Moree Plains
  • Murray River
  • Murrumbidgee
  • Queanbeyan-Palerang
  • Snowy Monaro
  • Snowy Valleys
  • Tenterfield
  • Tweed
  • Walcha
  • Walgett
  • Warren
  • Weddin
  • Wentworth

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