Rescue squad upgrade response kits

By Daniel Hughes

Vital cash injections are already producing great results in Southern Riverina communities, and the benefits are expected to keep coming.

Coinciding with the completion of a Commonwealth funded $300,000 Coleambally Golf Club clubhouse last week (see page 4), Federal Member for Farrer Sussan Ley has announced more funding for Coleambally groups.

Ms Ley announced Coleambally’s Cypress View Lodge would receive $59,696 for new solar panels.

She also took time to inspect the new vehicle stabilisation kit purchased by the Coleambally Rescue Squad using grant money.

‘‘I am a huge supporter of community based rural and regional residential aged care,” Ms Ley said during her visit to Coleambally last week.

‘‘I never fail to be impressed with the home cooked meals and beautiful surrounds of Cypress Lodge, which gives the residents a truly home-like setting.

‘‘The rescue squad received a $3000 grant from the Volunteer Grants program, which supports the efforts of Australia’s volunteers.

‘‘This investment hopefully encourages even more people to participate in community service when they have the time and desire to do so.’’

Murrumbidgee Mayor Ruth McRae said these investments are on top of Drought Communities Programme funded projects across the council footprint, which she said are progressing well.

‘‘The initial round of the program saw council focus on fabrication works in parks and recreation areas, and concreting works such as kerb and guttering and footpaths,’’ she said.

‘‘These upgrades will provide long-lasting benefits to our community and to visitors to our area.

‘‘Our works were carried out by local contractors, which meant the funding was injected straight into the local economy, helping to lessen the impacts of the drought.

‘‘That was the aim of the drought funding and it’s certainly paid off in our community by keeping our local tradespeople busy.

‘‘There’s also a great story of one of our local farmers who has been making metal sculptures for the project. Not only has he been appreciating the income, but he has also been thoroughly enjoying the change.

‘‘The extension round of the funding council received this year will see a focus on projects that will revitalise our communities, such as story boards, landscaping, signage, lighting and artwork.

‘‘These works will also utilise local contractors wherever possible and, again, will play a vital role in injecting funds into the community and stimulating our local economy.’’

Murrumbidgee Council has received $2 million from two rounds of Drought Communities Program funding since last year.

Berrigan Shire Council has also received $2 million over both rounds.