In a media release issued today (April 16th, 2020) Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said that vital infrastructure projects will be fast-tracked in regional NSW to help local industries, councils and communities rebuild and recover from the impacts of drought, bushfire and COVID-19. The Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said more than $100 million of the NSW Government’s COVID-19 stimulus package will go towards the expansion of plantation nurseries to boost production, infrastructure repairs in State forests, the rebuild of local showgrounds, and vital upgrades to regional hospitals, courthouses and Aboriginal housing. “The NSW Government is responding to the needs of regional communities and this funding will help to protect jobs, support business, upgrade infrastructure and support the regions’ most vulnerable,” Mr Barilaro said. “Regional NSW has done it incredibly tough over the past few years with the worst drought on record, unprecedented bushfire and now COVID-19 taking its toll, so it is important our regional communities get the backing they deserve to get them through this difficult period. “This funding will protect vital jobs and production in forestry areas badly impacted by bushfire and deliver essential upgrades to almost 170 showgrounds around the state, where our local agriculture sector gathers to showcase produce and achievements.” Funding committed under the COVID-19 stimulus package includes: $46 million as an equity injection into Forestry Corporation to repair damaged public infrastructure, and expand Blowering and Grafton nurseries and begin planting activities in bushfire affected State forests. $25 million for local councils to rebuild and refurbish infrastructure for up to 171 local showgrounds. $20 million to Aboriginal Housing for minor projects and maintenance across NSW. $9.5 million to Health to accelerate regional hospital minor projects and maintenance. $9 million to the Stronger Communities Cluster to accelerate minor projects and maintenance on assets such as regional courthouses and correctional facilities .
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