LISMORE MP Janelle Saffin has welcomed $10 million in COVID Recovery funding for NSW border towns but believes a requirement that projects need co-investment from neighbouring jurisdictions may discourage local residents from applying.
Ms Saffin is urging NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole to rethink the guidelines of this new round of the Cross-Border Commissioner’s Infrastructure Fund to make it easier to access and less tied to Queensland.
“If Minister Toole is serious about helping border communities recover from the impacts of border restrictions, and bushfires, floods and drought before that, he needs to make the application process more streamlined,” Ms Saffin said.
“I have advocated for a better deal for these communities in our Electorate of Lismore for months now, and while I welcome the Government’s investment of $10 million, I’m disappointed by the program’s red tape. It shouldn’t be so conditional.”
The Fund, which has delivered seven major projects since it rolled out in 2018, now is inviting councils, community and sporting groups, and charities to apply for grants from the value of $25,000 to deliver projects over three years.
Applicants are invited to contact the Office of the NSW Cross-Border Commissioner James McTavish with an outline of their proposed project.
Funding is available to support infrastructure proposals in cross-border communities where there is a formal whole of government cross-border agreement in place.
Proposals require co-investment, proportionate to the benefit, from the neighbouring jurisdiction or private partner(s). The COVID Recovery round expressions of interest close on 28 January 2022.
To lodge an expression of interest and for future information about the Fund, including program guidelines, go to www.regional.nsw.gov.au/our-work/ocbc
Applicants can contact the Office of the NSW Cross-Border Commissioner by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, 25 November 2021.