THE Australian Government last week announced that funding of $212.2 million has been approved for 51 projects under Round One of the National Stronger Regions Fund.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the Australian Government was investing $1 billion over five years to strengthen regions across Australia, enhancing economic growth and sustaining those regions into the future.
Mr Truss said the investments support important projects, nominated by local communities, with grants ranging from $20,000 to $10 million.
"We were pleased with the amount of interest in the Fund, with 405 applications received in Round One, seeking funding of over $1.2 billion," Mr Truss said.
"The Fund supports economic growth and productivity, boosts employment and importantly addresses areas of disadvantage in regional Australia.
"Applicants, and their funding partners, will co-invest at least 50 per cent of the total cost, increasing the capacity and capability of regions to deliver major projects."
Mr Truss said that the 55 Regional Development Australia Committees across the nation have been allocated an additional $18,000 each in 2014–15, to support economic development activities in their regions and to promote the National Stronger Regions Fund.
"This additional funding can be used for activities such as holding grant writing workshops, engaging across regional communities, and collaborating with industry, business and government to develop rigorous project proposals," he said.
Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Jamie Briggs said he was delighted to see such a strong response to the call for projects in Round One.
"The application period for Round Two of the National Stronger Regions Fund will open from 15 May 2015 to 31 July 2015," Mr Briggs said.
"Local government and incorporated not-for-profit organisations are eligible to apply for the second tranche of funding.
"This Fund is highly competitive so I encourage applicants to put their best projects forward for consideration under Round Two.
"The Australian Government is getting on with building for our future and through this Fund we will continue to support projects that deliver vital infrastructure, create jobs and drive economic growth."
More information on the National Stronger Regions Fund, including a full list of Round One funded projects, is available from Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development website at <http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/nsrf/>.