ECEC benefits from funding increase designed to help drought affected communities

ECEC benefits from funding increase designed to help drought affected communities

by Freya Lucas

August 26, 2020

More than 30 community projects have benefited from a share in more than $1.1 million in the latest round of Federal funding, Australia’s Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack has said.

 

The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal’s Tackling Tough Times Together program funding comes at a “significant time for regional Australia,” Mr McCormack said.

 

“While COVID-19 has been front of mind, we know drought continues to be a key concern for many of our regional communities,” he added.

 

“2020 has been Australia’s toughest year in a long time and the resilience that rural and regional Australians continue to demonstrate is remarkable,” Mr McCormack said.

 

With a total funding package of $15 million available, the Tackling Tough Times Together program has already supported hundreds of projects run by local groups in drought-affected regional communities for projects which build social cohesion, reduce social isolation, develop local capacity and leadership skills, address disadvantage, stimulate economic activity and can increase educational participation.

 

A playground and outdoor space at the Jerilderie Long Day Care, to bolster access to locally based childcare services, is one of the many funded projects in the latest round, which had a focus on helping families and businesses in regional communities cope with the stress of the drought while stimulating economy activity and renewing local infrastructure.

 

“Many projects funded this round will help reduce volunteer fatigue, enhance social participation and upgrade community infrastructure and shared spaces, which are all crucial to drought-affected regional communities,” Federal Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said.

 

Volunteer fatigue and management has been especially challenging in 2020, Mr Littleproud said, as many of the community organisations who were successful in this round rely on the time given by volunteers, many of whom have had “significantly reduced” capacity because of the challenges of COVID-19. 

 

Mr Littleproud encouraged all eligible community groups to apply for the ongoing funding available under the Tackling Tough Times Together program to make their “much-needed initiatives” a reality.

 

More information on the Tackling Tough Times Together program and the latest round of recipients can be found on the Foundation’s website at www.frrr.org.au/grants/TTTT

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