​​Joint Media Release

Blackall-Tambo drought funding supporting community infrastructure and creating jobs​

Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Warren Truss
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce

1 December 2015​

Blackall-Tambo Regional Council will receive $1.49 million from the Australian Government’s Drought Communities Programme to help bolster the local economy during ongoing drought conditions.

Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the four projects being funded under the $35 million programme will help revitalise the local economy.

“Ongoing drought conditions impacts the lives and livelihoods of everyone living and working in affected communities,” Mr Truss said.

“The Blackall Woolscour will receive a major upgrade with $800,000 granted to restore the historical cookhouse, and construct a commercial kitchen to support catering for functions, community bush dinners and use as a cafe. Short-term authentic shearer-style accommodation will also be provided on-site.

“The Tambo Sawmill will be restored to efficient operational condition meeting workplace safety requirements and enabling the finishing and marketing of product on-site, with a $216,000 grant.

“Project funding announced today will also see the Blackall Saleyards refurbished and the establishment of 20 horse paddocks near the Blackall Racecourse complex.

“These upgrades will improve local amenity and create 18 full-time jobs which is an important economic outcome for residents who have been dealing with prolonged drought.”

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Barnaby Joyce said the programme is a key commitment in the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper released earlier this year, and is part of the support system put in place for drought affected communities.

These projects will provide a boost for local businesses during construction through the purchase of materials,” Mr Joyce said.

“Importantly, there are still many other options available to farmers and residents affected by drought, including concessional loans and income support, as well as tax assistance and counselling services.

It is absolutely essential that all communities in Australia function as they should to improve our economic and social prosperity. I would encourage anyone struggling with drought and other related issues to take advantage of the support services available.”

To find out about other support services, visit agriculture.gov.au/assistance or call the Department of Human Services Farmer Assistance Hotline on 13 23 16.

More information on the Drought Communities Programme can be found at http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/funding/dcp/index.aspx