Grants deliver financial relief and events in drought declared communities

JOINT STATEMENT

Queenslanders living in drought-declared areas are benefitting from financial relief and events and activities in their communities thanks to the Palaszczuk Government’s $5 million Community Drought Support Program.

Minister for Communities and Housing Leeanne Enoch said funding has been provided to 146 projects under the latest round of grants delivered through the program.

“Despite recent rain, we know that Queensland’s drought-declared communities continue to feel the effects of this prolonged drought and they will continue to recover for years to come,” Ms Enoch said.

“Across the state there are 34 fully drought-declared and three partially drought-declared local government areas, covering 64.7 per cent of Queensland.

“To support Queenslanders who have been impacted by the drought, the Palaszczuk Government has provided more than $4.1million (excluding GST) to 146 projects in drought-declared local government areas of the state.

“The Queensland Government is working with communities in select drought-affected regions to identify projects and organisations that will benefit from the remaining almost $900,000 in funding.

“Approximately 80 percent of grant funding in each drought-declared local government area has been provided to community and not-for-profit organisations to deliver flexible financial hardship assistance in the form of cash payments, vouchers, and food hampers.

“The remaining 20 percent of grant funding has been provided to community and not-for-profit organisations, show societies, and local governments to host events and activities to build community connectedness in drought affected areas including the Fernvale Campdraft, the Diamantina Desert Sands Golf and Bushman’s Classics and Dalby’s Delicious and DeLIGHTful Festival.”

The Barcaldine Prep – 12 State School P&C Association is one of the organisations benefitting from funding through the Community Drought Support Program.

The P&C has received $15,800 to support families impacted by the drought with school expenses and to purchase new equipment for the school tuckshop.

President of the Barcaldine Prep – 12 State School P&C Association Toni Austin said the P&C greatly appreciated the funding provided to them through the Community Drought Support Program.

“The $15,800 granted to our P&C will help ease the economic struggles faced by many families and support the P&C in providing the services and facilities that our kids deserve,” Ms Austin said.

“Our community may be small but our commitment to making a difference in the lives of our kids’ is as big as it gets.

“Every day we’re reminded in so many ways that we’re still in drought and the challenges that flow on from that cannot be underestimated.

“It is so important that we keep moving forward, that we do our best and strive to do better tomorrow than we did today.”

The grants form part of the Queensland Government’s more than $50 million drought funding package in 2020-21.

A further $5.2 million in funding will be provided to drought-affected Queensland communities through the Community Drought Support Program in 2021-22.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said the ongoing drought was a serious challenge, particularly for communities that were heavily reliant on the agriculture industry.

“Agriculture is an essential industry in Queensland and a vital part of Queensland’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan,” Mr Furner said.

“Just like we support our farmers with drought support, it is important that we continue to support the communities that are supporting them.”

Ms Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government was committed to supporting drought-affected Queenslanders and their communities.

“We’re here to support farmers, their families, businesses and the wider community in drought impacted areas of the state on their longer-term recovery,” she said.

“Queensland communities have weathered their fair share of droughts, cyclones, and storms, and the COVID-19 pandemic, and we’re here to support them every step of the way as they recover as part of Queensland’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan.”

Funding provided through the Community Drought Support Program will be delivered in line with the latest health advice regarding COVID-19.

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