Steph Cooke MP presents an oversized cheque to Mayor John Seymour in front of a crowd of people inside an old, restored shop.
Steph Cooke MP with Mayor of Coolamon Shire John Seymour and community group representatives at the Up To Date Store in Coolamon.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke MP today announced $768,762 from the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund to roll out new community and youth programs, restore heritage signage, upgrade local halls and develop sporting facilities across the Coolamon Shire.

The NSW Government funding has been spread across nine projects, each of which will benefit communities across the shire.

  • $173,290 for ‘Skill Up! Getting Job Ready in the Coolamon Shire’ – program to help young people get job ready by providing training and life skills.
  • $103,121 for the Coolamon Shire Public Swimming Pool Development – various works at the three public swimming pools in the Coolamon Shire including creating a splash fountain in both Coolamon and Ardlethan, a beach entry in Coolamon and Ardlethan and a new shade structure at the Ganmain Pool.
  • $97,259 for the Coolamon and Matong Basketball Court Development – including constructing a new full size basketball court in Coolamon and half court in Matong.
  • $93,225 for Restore: Heritage Signage and Mural Trail – this shire-wide project will involve the restoration of old and damaged advertising signage across the shire and the production of maps, information brochures and a webpage.
  • $71,426 for the Marrar War Memorial Hall Operable Wall Project – this upgrade to the Marrar Hall will include installing a bi fold wall between the supper room and the main dance floor to make the space more versatile.
  • $70,983 for the Community Parks and Halls project – this includes a new kitchen in Beckom Hall and a new gazebo and BBQ in the Ganmain Victory Gardens.
  • $60,656 for Youth Event and Performance Kit – includes the purchase of essential equipment to ensure Coolamon Shire Council can host and facilitate events and programs all year round and engage performers, workshops and events for young people for the next three years.
  • $53,347 for the Up-to-Date Store Youth Event Space Upgrade – further development to the event space including a bifold glass wall to the current stage, a new projector within the space and fees associated with a blanket public performance licence from Roadshow Films.
  • $45,455 for the Rejuvenation of Interior of the Ardlethan Memorial Hall – upgrades including split system air conditioners.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said she was delighted these projects had secured funding.

“These projects have been created by the community to suit the community’s needs and I can’t wait to see them come to life,” Ms Cooke said.

“There is something for everyone with these projects, from helping young people gain new skills for work in Coolamon to helping the Marrar Hall attract smaller events. The Coolamon Shire Council has done a fantastic job with their applications.”

Mayor of Coolamon Shire Councilor John Seymour said without this funding many projects around the region would not be possible.

“All three round of the Stronger Country Communities Fund have put a lot of confidence back in to the community,” Cr Seymour said.

“The northern part of the Coolamon shire has been in dire straits with the drought, but now we’ve had all this funding and people can see that things are done and getting done it’s really put a lot of confidence back in the community.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said $100 million was being distributed across regional NSW, with regional communities set to benefit from more than 550 new projects.

To date, rounds one and two of the program have funded more than 1,000 projects.

“Locals across regional NSW are seeing the benefits of rounds one and two of the Fund, with projects making a big difference to everyday life, from new playgrounds loved by kids to light towers illuminating sporting fields,” Mr Barilaro said.

“We are funding grassroots projects that make a real difference to each community, and we know how important it is to support our regional towns with new infrastructure and programs.”

The $400 million Stronger Country Communities Fund is part of the NSW Government’s $1.7 billion Regional Growth Fund, which is being invested in local programs and infrastructure that improve the lives of people living in regional NSW.

For more information, visit: www.nsw.gov.au/strongercountrycommunities.