On Friday, the Federal Government caved in to pressure to make the Bega Valley Shire Council eligible for a $1m ‘Drought Communities Programme’ grant to support local infrastructure and other projects for communities and businesses who have been impacted by drought.
These government grants were originally allocated to drought affected local councils back on the 19th August 2018 - inexplicably the Bega Valley Shire Council missed out.
While I am pleased that government has now rectified the situation, it is very disappointing that they only did so after a sustained campaign from the Bega Valley Council which I championed in Parliament.
Unfortunately, our calls for the Bega Valley to be included in the programme fell on deaf ears for months because the Liberal Party was too busy with their own internal chaos.
I congratulate the Bega Valley Council for the advocacy on behalf of the community and I hope that this grant will help assist in their efforts to deal with the drought and the recovery efforts relating to the Tathra and Bemboka fires.
I will continue to pressure the government to extend this programme to include other equally deserving local councils in Eden-Monaro that are struggling with the drought.