THE Australian Government last week announced over $100 million in funding for projects in regional New South Wales and Queensland as part of Round Two of the Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF), a five-year, $1 billion regional funding program.
Regional Australia Minister Simon Crean said the Federal Government will invest $200 million in Round Two of the program, which builds on the $150 million invested in the first stage.
Mr Crean said $66.6 million will fund 15 projects in New South Wales to boost regional economies and create more than 2,000 new jobs before and after construction.
"The local communities have responded to the challenge of developing creative proposals that stack up, effectively leverage other funding and sustain the economic and social future of their regions," Mr Crean said.
"Many of the projects successful this time were unsuccessful in Round One. Applicants took the feedback on board, learnt the process and reworked projects for Round Two - this has paid dividends.
"This is a great mix of projects that not only deliver the social dividend in terms of community infrastructure, but continue to strengthen the economic engine of regional New South Wales," Mr Crean said.
The successful projects in NSW include sporting precincts, community hubs, art galleries, freight and transport interchanges and a regional airport upgrade.
While in Queensland, $33.6 million will fund eight projects including cultural and tourist projects, regional airport upgrades and community infrastructure.
"Each of the eight projects in Queensland will build important infrastructure that will serve the community and local regions now and into the future," Mr Crean said.
"Round Two funding builds on the $150 million distributed to 35 projects through Round One last year, which included $20.5 million for regional Queensland projects."
Funding for other States and Territories will be announced over the coming weeks. More information about the Regional Development Australia Fund is available from the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport website at <http://www.regional.gov.au/>.