Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke today announced $1,337,997 in funding to breathe new life into projects in Bland Shire through round two of the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund.

The money will fund four projects which will benefit the community by improving sport, leisure and tourism facilities, encouraging more active lifestyles and promoting the staging of social events which bring community members together.

“Bland Shire is a wonderful place to visit and it’s such a pleasure to be able to announce this funding,” Ms Cooke said.

“I’m so excited to be able to help these projects come to fruition because they will help improve community facilities and enable sporting activities to attract wider participation.”

The projects are:

  • $839,009 for adding lights to West Wyalong Rugby Club and Rodeo Grounds
  • $187,800 for Cooinda Park improvements
  • $171,890 for Barmedman Mineral pool upgrade
  • $139,298 part funding for Kikoira Hall rejuvenation

Cooinda Park is home to the recreation of a mine shaft head, the True Blue Poppet Head, as well as a replica of a miner’s cottage –  both pay tribute to the gold fields of Wyalong from the late 19th century.

A project to rejuvenate this area has been granted $187,800 to install a large, covered barbecue area and additional seating, pour two concrete slabs to support two large machines donated for display by Evolution Mining, install a time capsule with brick and concrete surrounds, and give the miners cottage new roof thatching, Cyprus wooden slabs and plants.

“Cooinda Park is such a striking reminder of the gold mining history of this area and provides wonderful bushland setting to enjoy – this funding will create an even more enjoyable area to explore,” Ms Cooke said.

West Wyalong Rodeo Grounds, which hosts one of Bland Shire’s biggest and most popular annual events – the West Wyalong Rodeo – currently has no electricity supply. And juniors at West Wyalong Rugby Ground are unable to train due to insufficient lighting and an unreliable power supply.

Ms Cooke said a grant of $839,009 will provide high-voltage lighting to both facilities, with six poles carrying a total of 28 1200-watt LED lights at the rugby club and 12 600-watt LED lights at the rodeo ground.

“The rodeo ground and rugby ground upgrades will certainly highlight the sports facilities here, the LEDs being installed will have the power to enable a wider usage of both facilities when darkness falls,” she added.

Barmedman Mineral Pool has been granted $171,890 to install an aeration system to improve water quality and control algae, a solar power system to reduce ongoing electricity costs as well as the refurbishment of the amenities block.

“Barmedman Mineral Pool is a fabulous place to visit on a hot day and draws visitors from far and wide – being able to improve an already excellent facility and make it more economical to run is certainly a big win for Bland Shire,” Ms Cooke said.

Kikoira Hall will receive $139,298 part-funding to upgrade its kitchen, build an outdoor barbecue area and build an amenities block.

“I understand that the toilets and kitchen are currently unusable, so this grant will go a long way towards breathing new life into this focus for the community and allow for more celebrations and functions,” Ms Cooke said.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said the roll-out of the second round projects takes Stronger Country Communities funding to $300 million.

“The $300 million Stronger Country Communities Fund is part of the NSW Government’s $1.6 billion Regional Growth Fund that is employing local tradies, putting local suppliers to work and providing the right environment to operate regional businesses,” he said.

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