Hilltops Receives Drought Assistance Funding

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Hilltops Council will receive $1 million in drought relief funding from the Federal Government’s latest round of drought support.

The funding is part of a $1 billion extension of the Government’s existing suite of drought relief measures through the Drought Communities Programme (DCP) extension. Both Hilltops and Lockhart Councils in the Riverina electorate have been added to the list of eligible councils under the DCP extension.

Riverina Nationals’ MP and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack announced the funding last week. “Communities across Australia are suffering the effects of the prolonged dry spell and the Riverina and Central West is no different,” Mr McCormack said.

“This suite of measures goes to the heart of what matters to these communities. From small businesses to primary producers, we are working with communities to take the pressure off one of the worst droughts in history.”

Hilltops Regional Council Mayor Brian Ingram said the funding would be well accepted in the community. “The drought is really starting to bite and you can see the morale of people dropping, so any funding that enables Council to create extra employment or upgrade the gravel road network for farmers will benefit everyone in the shire,” Mayor Ingram said.

On top of the extension to the Drought Communities Programme, the 128 Local Government Areas, which includes Hilltops, will also receive extra Roads to Recovery funding. “The Government will also be providing $138.9 million of Roads to Recovery top-up funding for the 128 eligible LGAs,” said Mr McCormack.

Eligible farmers, farm workers and suppliers/contractors in each Local Government Area which has received Drought Communities Programme Extension funding are able to apply for up to $3,000 per eligible drought-affected household through the Drought Community Support Initiative.

Farming households can receive up to $3,000 to spend in their local communities to cover urgent bills such as food, petrol and utilities, taking stress off families and boosting the local economy.

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