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  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP


Vital community projects in every local government area across regional NSW are under threat, with the Labor government refusing to rule out scrapping the hugely successful Stronger Country Communities Fund (SCCF).

Member for Upper Hunter Dave Layzell has urged the Minister for Regional NSW, Tara Moriarty, to stand up for communities in the bush and roll out the $90 million in funding that had been set aside by the previous government for the next round of the program.

“Every day we’re reminded of the success of this program, and how it has made a really meaningful difference to the lives of people living in communities all across the Upper Hunter electorate,” Mr Layzell said.
“In the most recent round alone, this fund contributed $267,767 towards accessible paths at four bus shelters in Muswellbrook, $551,150 for Singleton council to reconstruct tennis, netball and multi-use courts in Broke, and $202,884 for restoration and storage upgrades at the Scone Historical Society.
“If Chris Minns and Tara Moriarty scrap this program, they are showing contempt for the people of regional NSW and saying that we don’t deserve the same kind of amenities that those in the city take for granted.”

The NSW Liberals and Nationals in government funded more than 100 projects over the five rounds of SCCF delivering over $27 million to the Upper Hunter electorate.

Projects include:

· Muswellbrook Aquatic Centre - $1,000,000;

· Construction of Denman Netball Courts - $206,286;

· Arts-Upper Hunter Muswellbrook Shire Liddell WORKS Arts Program - $153,544;

· John Tucker Park Paterson - $690,000;

· Dungog Showground - $441,000;

· Gloucester Showground Amenities - $338,855;

· Upgrade Gloucester Grandstand - $668,239;

· Singleton PCYC Friday Afternoon Fun & Friday Afternoon Fun Disability Sport and Support Program - $265,486;

· Create Branxton Public Square - $279,973; and,

· Singleton High School Marra Talpa Fitness Centre - $62,660.

NSW Nationals leader and Shadow Minister for Regional NSW Dugald Saunders said the Stronger Country Communities Fund is an important program that provides the infrastructure required to ensure regional communities thrive.

“This program was established by the former Coalition government in 2017, and since then has seen $660 million invested into more than 2500 projects across the bush. It’s been vitally important for regional communities,” Mr Saunders said.

“We know in some cases there are projects that simply wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the funding the former Coalition government invested into this program. If Labor walks away from the Stronger Country Communities Fund it’s letting down every regional community in NSW.”

PICTURE CAPTION: Hon Paul Toole and Dave Layzell meeting earlier this year with Singleton Mayor Cr Sue Moore, Deputy Mayor Cr Tony Jarrett and Director of Infrastructure and Planning Justin Fitzpatrick-Barr to discuss the council’s advocacy document.

PICTURE CAPTION: Mr Toole and Mr Layzell inspecting the Memorial Rotunda component of the Branxton Town Centre upgrade with Branxton RSL Sub-branch Honorary President Brian Furner OAM.


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