Steph Cooke is surrounded by a group of people smiling and jumping in the air with their hands up. The hold a large cheque at the front of the photo.
Steph Cooke MP with members of the Narrandera community celebrating Round 3 of the Stronger Country Communities Fund. Please note this photo was taken prior to current social distancing measures.

Communities in the Cootamundra electorate will benefit from a $300 million increase to the Regional Growth Fund as part of the 2020-21 NSW Budget.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke was joined by Deputy Premier John Barilaro to announce the increase to representatives from all local government areas in the Cootamundra electorate at a summit in Harden today, sharing the news that this transformational fund will include another round of the $100 million Stronger Country Communities Fund which is responsible for delivering 178 community projects across the electorate.

“The Regional Growth Fund has delivered vital projects to every community in the Cootamundra electorate and over 2,100 projects to every Local Government Area in Regional NSW. This new funding announced in the 2020-21 Budget is more great news for our communities,” Ms Cooke said.

“A further $300 million will take the fund to $2 billion and this, along with the $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund, will see the NSW Nationals deliver more projects across regional NSW.

“It’s been a tough few years for many of us and the NSW Government is determined to support our communities while we get back on our feet. The extension of the Regional Growth Fund will provide once-in-a-generation infrastructure that generates opportunities, investment and jobs and makes all of our communities great places to live, work and thrive.”

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the recharged Regional Growth Fund will also deliver new programs in the Cootamundra electorate that target economic activation and tourism projects in and complements the recently announced $100 million Regional Job Creation Fund.

“The record funding we are providing will provide businesses in the Cootamundra electorate and all regional NSW with the confidence they need to invest, expand their operations, get new customers through the door and create new jobs.

“The now $2 billion Regional Growth Fund was first introduced in 2017 to give people in regional communities a fairer share of government investment. Over $1.7 billion has already been committed to more than 2,100 projects, big and small, right across regional NSW,” Mr Barilaro said.

“The Regional Growth Fund has delivered industrial precincts and intermodals to roads, power, water and the internet, upgraded regional airports, floodlights for footy fields and playgrounds for kids.

“These projects are providing the major infrastructure upgrades that industry needs to thrive, the support that businesses need to expand, the attractions that tourists love to visit and the community improvements that make a big difference to everyday life.”

An additional $75 million Resources for Regions round will provide vital infrastructure and support programs for mining towns and communities and the remaining $125 million in funding will be allocated through other regional programs, such as tourism and economic activation initiatives.

For further information, go to www.nsw.gov.au/regionalgrowthfund.