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Announcements

UNINCORPORATED SA ELIGIBLE FOR DROUGHT COMMUNITIES PROGRAMME FUNDING

Regional Development Australia (RDA) Far North and the Outback Communities Authority (OCA) welcomes the announcement from Rowan Ramsay, Federal Member for Grey of the expansion of the Drought Communities Programme which sees Unincorporated SA listed as an eligible region.

Funding under the Drought Communities Programme is available to eligible councils for local infrastructure projects and other drought related activities. Project funding is intended to provide short-term support, including by boosting local employment and procurement, and addressing social and community needs. 

Mark Sutton, Chair (RDA) Far North said “Agriculture is the traditional mainstay industry of the Outback, based on sheep, grains and beef cattle production, with these accounting for 84% of the regional agricultural output. The Agriculture industry accounts for 8% of all jobs in the region and is the largest contributor in terms of regional exports, employment, value-added and local expenditure on goods and services (backward linkages).” 

Cecilia Woolfood, Chair OCA said “This is a welcome announcement and is a good outcome for Outback SA region.  It is expected that the grant will stimulate spending at local business and suppliers in support of the local community and the agricultural industry that underpins its economy.”

“An important aspect this programme is that it is aimed at stimulating the communities that support the agriculture and farming industries. Therefore there is a focus on infrastructure and community projects that support not only the farmers and pastoralists, but also the many local small and medium businesses along with projects aimed at providing employment opportunities for farmers and pastoralists so that they can build their skill sets and have alternate income streams available to them.“ said Mr Sutton.

This extension of the Drought Communities Programme will cover an additional 14 Councils. This further extension will result in a total of 110 Councils receiving drought relief support through this Programme now including two within the Far North region, those being The Flinders Ranges Council and Outback Communities Authority.

RDA Far North and the Outback Communities Authority will work closely in the rolling out of this important funding initiative.

       

THE FLINDERS RANGES COUNCIL AWARDED HARD EARNED DROUGHT FUNDING

The Flinders Ranges Council has been awarded $1m in funding from the Commonwealth Government under the Drought Communities Programme.

Funding under the Drought Communities Programme is available to eligible councils for local infrastructure projects and other drought-relief activities. Project funding is intended to provide short-term support, including by boosting local employment and procurement, and addressing social and community needs. 

However, as Mark Sutton, Chair Regional Development Australia (RDA) Far North said, The Flinders Ranges Council was initially overlooked in receiving the funding.

“When the extension of this Programme was announced by the Australian Government in October 2018, $1m was awarded to 60 eligible Councils, including 17 in South Australia, however The Flinders Ranges Council was one of the Councils that was overlooked for funding support despite being identified by the State Government as being in drought.

In seeing this anomaly RDA Far North lobbied Commonwealth Ministers and Members of Parliament to have the Council area recognised as requiring drought assistance. 

“In The Flinders Ranges Council region, agriculture accounts for the largest share of the region’s industry value-add at 20%, is the largest contributor to regional exports with 42% of total regional export value and accounts for 21% of local employment, the highest industry in the region.  The agricultural industry also provides a significant offering for the tourism industry with a number of pastoral homesteads offering tourism experiences.

“This is a good outcome for The Flinders Ranges Council as it is expected that the grant will stimulate local community spending at local business and suppliers in support of the local community and the agricultural industry that underpins its economy.   RDA Far North will continue to work closely with The Flinders Ranges Council in the rolling out of this important funding initiative.”

RDA Far North will continue to advocate both the Australian and State Governments for increased support for those parts of the far north who are also managing the impacts of severe drought conditions.       

COMMUNCATION BLACKSPOTS TO BE FIXED IN THE FAR NORTH REGION

Today the Commonwealth Government announced 19 communication blackspots in South Australia under Round 4 of the Mobile Blackspot Programme, with seven of those being located in the Far North region.

Mark Sutton, Chair Regional Development Australia (RDA) Far North said that reliable and consistent mobile communications is one of our high priorities in relation to infrastructure needs across the region.

“The announcement today is a great win for our region and goes a long way to ensuring that residents and visitors have consistent mobile phone coverage as they traverse our vast region.”

“Having mobile phone access is key to ensuring the safety of the public, and the covering of these vital blackspots will assist in achieving this, especially in emergency situations.”

“It also means that visitors travelling through the areas can have access to vital and informative tourism information which can assist them on their journey through the regions.”

“RDA Far North has been working with local and state government partners and providers for some time and this is a great win for the Outback Communities Authority, The Flinders Ranges Council and Nipapanha Community Council.”

There were 90 mobile blackspots identified across the Far North region and the Mobile Blackspot Programme has provided solutions for 21 of these locations to date, including the seven announced today.

The base stations that have received funding under Round 4, which will be operational by June 2020 are as follows:

  • Cadney Park
  • Cradock
  • Lyndhurst
  • Arkaroola Village
  • Nepabunna
  • Pichi Richi
  • Flinders Ranges Way