Federal Member for Calare, Andrew Gee said Lithgow City Council and Bathurst Regional Council will both be allocated $1 million under the Federal Government’s Drought Communities Programme to support drought affected farmers and communities in the region.
Mr Gee said the allocation of funding follows representations to the relevant Minister to include Bathurst Regional Council and Lithgow City Council in the programme.
“This is an important initiative, but when it was announced there were some glaring omissions, including Bathurst Regional Council and Lithgow City Council. As a result of the latest rainfall figures they have now been included,” Mr Gee said.
“The Bathurst and Lithgow local government areas host significant farming communities that are hurting badly from this awful drought. Its businesses are also being hit hard and the knock-on effect from this drought is huge. It’s therefore a relief to see this funding allocated to Lithgow and Bathurst.
“The important thing about the Drought Communities Programme is that it recognises the severe impact the drought is not only having on the farms, but also in our towns and villages.
“This major injection of Federal funds is designed to assist our farmers, towns and surrounding regions get through what is the worst drought in living memory,” Mr Gee added.
“The funds can be used to address local needs and can include projects such as: trucking drinking water supplies into local communities; employing local contractors to undertake repair and maintenance work; upgrading community facilities and infrastructure; and, holding drought-relief events and related activities.
“While some areas in the central west have had some recent rain, it’s going to take a lot more to break this drought and we need to continue doing all we can to ensure these communities have the support they need. That means continually ramping up support as the conditions worsen.”