Bronze “Bill the Bastard” unveiling

Member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke has welcomed the official unveiling of a bronze, life-size sculpture of Australia’s greatest war horse, ‘Bill the Bastard’, at a ceremony in Harden Murrumburrah.

Ms Cooke said it was fantastic to see the statue in-situ at Murrumburrah, the birthplace of the Australian Light Horse.

“This project has been a long time in the works and is an absolute credit to the dedication and perseverance of many deeply passionate members in this community.

“Bill is a source of great pride for all involved and an absolute drawcard to Harden Murrumburrah and the Hilltops region more broadly.”

The project was made possible thanks to over $400,000 in funding from the NSW Government’s Stronger Communities Fund.

Major donations and contributions alongside that of the NSW Government were:

  • $200,000 raised amongst the local community,
  • $100,000 from the Kruger Trust,
  • $80,000 from Harden Regional Development Corporation,
  • $30,000 from Mr Bill Gibbons of Victoria.

The ‘Bill the Bastard’ statue was created by local sculptor Mr Carl Valerius and bronzed by Mr Matt Crawford of Crawford’s Casting.

Speaking at the unveiling, Mr Valerius said it was a fabulous outcome for the community.

“To have an idea and believe in it, you can achieve almost anything. I thank the State Government for their support and belief in a little old sculpture in a town like Murrumburrah.”

Special guests present at the ceremony also included Brigadier Glen Ryan from Victoria Barracks in Sydney, along with 97yr old Mr Keith Taylor who travelled from Uranquinty for the occasion.

The sculpture of ‘Bill the Bastard’ and his five riders can be found at the 1st Australian Horse and Australian Light Horse Memorial precinct in Murrumburrah.

For more information, please visit Home – Bill the Bastard.

Junee Welcomes $787,682 in Funding for Community Projects

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has announced that the Junee Shire is set to receive $787,682 under the NSW Government’s fourth round of the Stronger Country Communities Fund.

This latest round of NSW Government funding has been spread across four projects, each of which is set to benefit communities across the Shire.

  • $59,772 to Illabo Public School to construct a Covered Outdoor Learning Area for students and the wider Illabo community
  • $228,020 to build a ramp into the 50 metre pool to facilitate increased accessibility at the Junee Junction Aquatic and Recreation Centre
  • $346,425 to provide a dedicated female change room at Loftus Oval, for the Junee Junior Rugby League club
  • $153,465 for sporting and social facility refurbishments in Old Junee, including a community garden and landscape features.

“Projects like these bring to life the NSW Government’s vision to help make regional NSW be the best place to live, work and visit,” Ms Cooke said.

“These four projects showcase facilities in Junee particularly those in small villages but also how the small villages who are passionate and committed to enhancing and developing their communities.

“The latest round of funding takes the total amount of funding through the Stronger Country Communities Fund for projects across the Junee Shire to $3,900,384 over 20 projects.” 

Junee Shire Council General Manager, James Davis said the projects across Junee will be a great addition to the town’s development.

“It’s great to see these facilities over the Junee Shire receive funding. These projects will better improve the learning and sporting experiences in the area,” Mr Davis said. 

Secretary of the Old Junee Hall, Anna Lashbrook said this funding was reassuring to the small village of Old Junee.

“We look forward to seeing our plans come alive, and building an asset not just for ourselves, but for the entire shire,” Mrs Lashbrook said.

Illabo Public School P&C secretary, Fiona Hodge said this funding is an exciting new addition to the Illabo community. 

“I don’t think we are going to realise the major impact this will have on not only the school but the wider Illabo community until the COLA is actually built. We will be able to hold events and learning for all outdoors in comfort,” Mrs Hodge said.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole announced that 435 projects across every single one of the state’s 93 regional Local Government Areas (LGAs) would receive funding under Stronger Country Communities Fund Round Four.

“The Stronger Country Communities fund delivers guaranteed investment in every single regional LGA in NSW, and has seen $500 million invested across more than 1900 local projects since 2017,” Mr Toole said.

“About half of this latest $100 million round will deliver 189 female sporting projects, including the construction or upgrade of female change rooms, additional amenity blocks and bathrooms, and playing surfaces like netball and tennis courts.

“It will also deliver hundreds of projects that make everyday life in the regions easier, for things like new playgrounds, clubhouse, art gallery renovations, streetscape, accessibility, lighting upgrades and community programs.”

The Stronger Country Communities Fund is part of the $2 billion Regional Growth Fund, which alongside the $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund is delivering infrastructure and programs that generate opportunities, investment and jobs.

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