Additional drought funding to flow to Bundaberg
After months of lobbying by Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt for additional drought funding for the region, an extension to the Drought Communities Program has been announced.
“Its fantastic news that Bundaberg Regional Council will receive $1 million which can be used to support events that boost tourism and build infrastructure and amenities and I thank the Prime Minister for once again, delivering for the people of the Hinkler electorate,” Mr Pitt said.
“The review of the Drought Communities Program declarations announced today has taken into account rainfall data and both agricultural and broader employment information.”
Previously Bundaberg was not eligible for the Drought Communications Program (DCP) due to one criteria.
“After investigating I found that the criteria which calculated agricultural jobs in the region didn’t include agricultural processing or packaging jobs.
“This was despite Bundaberg being one of the largest small crops growing regions in Australia, the largest macadamia growing and processing region in the Southern hemisphere and a large sugar cane, grazing and avocado growing region.
“I wrote to the Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister to urge them to include Bundaberg in the review of the DCP as this criteria put us as a significant disadvantage,” he said.
The DCP extension has funded over 300 projects, such as the construction of amenities blocks, potable water supply, local tourism assets, community resilience events and employing local drought support officers.