A Guided Tour at Grenfell Guide Hall

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has visited the Grenfell Girl Guides for an update on their bathroom renovation project, funded under the latest round of the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund.

“It was a pleasure to meet such a lovely group of girls, who are developing their skills and confidence for everyday life, paving the way for them to be our future leaders,” Ms Cooke said.

“During my visit, it was also great to hear how plans to renovate the bathroom are progressing, which will certainly make the meeting place much more comfortable for all involved.”

Grenfell District Manager for Girl Guides Glenda Howell said they are grateful for the funding provided and appreciate the support from Ms Cooke.

“We are all very much looking forward to the updated bathroom, with building works expected to commence very soon,” Ms Howell said.

The Grenfell Girl Guides bathroom renovation project received $50,974 in funding in the fourth round of the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund.

Through rounds one to four of the program, over $3.7 million in funding has been secured in support of 18 projects across Weddin Shire.

As part of her visit, Ms Cooke has also encouraged girls aged five to 17, and their parents, to learn more about guiding and to get involved with their local group.

“Guiding is such a fantastic way to nurture and empower our young women. I highly recommend taking the opportunity to be involved in the program locally.”

For more information about Girl Guides NSW, please visit www.girlguides-nswactnt.org.au

Cootamundra Electorate Schools Benefit from Regional Renewal Package

The NSW Government’s Regional Renewal Program is delivering improvements to schools with 45 projects across the Cootamundra electorate.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said it is great to see local schools benefiting from the NSW Government’s historic investment in public education infrastructure.

“This program has supported upgrades to local schools from every corner of the electorate no matter how big or small, including Wombat Public School and West Wyalong High School,” Ms Cooke said.

“Since its launch in 2020, 39 schools have benefited from these investments which are delivering new and improved facilities including car park and kitchen upgrades, the construction of COLA’s.”

Successful projects announced under Round 1, 2 and 4:

  • Ardlethan Central School, Shade Structures & Walkways
  • Barellan Central School, COLA, Shade Structures & Walkways
  • Beckom Public School, Playground Upgrade
  • Caragabal Public School, Toilet Upgrade
  • Coolamon Central School, Toilet Upgrade
  • Cootamundra High School, Hall, MPC, Gym & Communal Space Upgrade
  • Cootamundra Public School, Playground Upgrade
  • Cowra High School, Admin & Staff Upgrade
  • Cowra Public School, Cricket Nets, Kitchen & Window Upgrades
  • E A Southee Public School, Sports Court Upgrade & Shade Structure
  • Eurongilly Public School, Admin & Staff Upgrade
  • Gooloogong Public School, Admin & Staff Upgrade
  • Grenfell Public School, Upgrade Basketball Courts
  • Gundagai High School, Performance Unit Upgrade
  • Gundagai Public School, Carpark & Transport
  • Gundagai South Public School, Admin & Staff Upgrade
  • Holman Place School, Landscaping & Shade Structure
  • Illabo Public School, COLA, Shade Structures & Walkways
  • Junee High School, Welding Bay Upgrade & Playground Equipment Replacement
  • Junee Public School, Playground Upgrade
  • Matong Public School, Sporting Facilities
  • Mulyan Public School, Relocation of Kitchen
  • Murringo Public School, Admin & Staff Upgrade
  • Murrumburrah High School, Replacement of Doors, Roofing Upgrade, Install Automatic Doors at Front Entrance
  • Murrumburrah Public School, Structural, Fabric & Building Upgrade
  • Nangus Public School, Sporting Facilities
  • Narrandera Public School, COLA, Shade Structures & Walkways
  • Quandialla Public School, Playground Upgrade
  • Temora High School, Admin and TAS Shed Upgrades
  • Temora West Public School, Toilet Upgrade
  • The Henry Lawson High School, Sporting Facilities
  • Weethalle Public School, Toilet Upgrade
  • West Wyalong High School, Toilet Upgrade
  • West Wyalong Public School, Toilet Upgrade
  • Wombat Public School, COLA & Covered Walkways
  • Woodstock Public School, COLA, Shade Structures & Walkways
  • Wyalong Public School, Playground Upgrade
  • Young North Public School, Storage Facilities
  • Young Public School, Upgrade PAA Areas

Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said the Regional Renewal Program is driven by what school communities want and includes work such as upgrades to school playgrounds, sport courts and libraries.

“I’m thrilled that regional projects are being delivered for our school communities,” Ms Mitchell said.

“This $120 million investment from government, combined with contributions from local school communities, is delivering for our regional schools providing students with engaging and modern learning spaces.”

The program is supporting more than 1,300 jobs across regional NSW, and wherever possible, local contractors and suppliers have been engaged ensuring the positive impacts of this stimulus are felt as far and wide as possible.

The NSW Government is investing $7.9 billion over the next four years, continuing its program to deliver 215 new and upgraded schools to support communities across NSW. This is the largest investment in public education infrastructure in the history of NSW.

Junee, Narrandera and Temora Awarded NSW Government Library Funding

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has announced $456,720 in funding for Junee, Narrandera and Temora Shire Councils under the 2021/22 Public Library Infrastructure Grant program.

Ms Cooke said the grants are part of $6 million worth of funding for 26 public library projects across NSW.

“These are significant grants that will help our local libraries undertake a variety of measures such as increasing the programs offered at their libraries and the purchasing of new furniture,” Ms Cooke said.

“Our close-knit communities take great pride in our libraries that provide a wide range of valuable assets to the community, and cater for all ages. It is important that they have quality facilities, great collections and access to the internet, so it is wonderful to be able to assist in upgrading these critical sources to ensure they can continue to be a source of delight, entertainment, education and information.”

Projects awarded funding under the program:

  • Junee Shire Council, $319,110 to refurbish Junee Library increasing the usable public space in the library by removing a large service desk and office. Funds will also provide flexible furniture throughout the library, and upgrade lighting, electrical and flooring.
  • Narrandera Shire Council, $35,523 to enhance access to collections and increase space for programs in Narrandera Library’s children’s area. The project will include new mobile shelving, furniture, signage and technology.
  • Temora Shire Council, $102,087 for improvements to Temora library as the final stage of an ongoing renovation project. This phase includes painting and new signage, upgraded lighting, automatic doors and accessible entrance.

NSW Minister for the Arts, the Hon Ben Franklin said public libraries continue to grow and provide access to services that help people at all stages of their lives.

“This funding is part of the additional $60M over four years the NSW Government is providing to enhance library services and facilities across the state,” Mr Franklin said.

“The NSW Government is committed to working with councils to enhance library services and facilities across the state.

“This funding allocation brings the total of State Government support for NSW libraries in 2021/22 to a record $38.6 million.”

NSW State Librarian Dr John Vallance said the funds will enable councils to develop or improve library buildings and mobile library services.

“Two years of fires, floods and plague have left the people of New South Wales more in need of strong, safe, well-provisioned libraries than ever before. Public library funding is one of the State Government’s most significant contributions to the health of our communities.”

The Library Council of NSW, assisted by the State Library, assessed the applications for grants under the 2021/22 program.

Lachlan Valley Railway Heritage Centre Opens New Entrance Building

After years of setbacks and COVID-19 delays, thanks to grants provided by the NSW State Government, the Lachlan Valley Railway Heritage Centre have been able to cut the ribbon and unveil their new entrance and display building.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke is delighted to have been there for the celebration of this opening and said this funding was important in keeping the centre in peak condition.

“The Lachlan Valley Railway Heritage Centre in Cowra draws in crowds of hundreds of visitors each year, contributing to the flourishing tourism sector in Cowra,” Ms Cooke said.

“The team of passionate volunteers at the centre have worked tirelessly and shown real dedication and love in all they have done to enhance this space and grow its capabilities as a tourist destination.”

Mr Ian Cameron, Manager at the Lachlan Valley Railway Heritage Centre said he was very excited at the unveiling of this long-term project.

“What started its life as a storage shed has undergone a magical transformation and become a grand building with displays, souvenirs and even refreshments for guests.” Mr Cameron said.

“After having been postponed due to Covid-19, to be able get together for the opening of this building at our museum has been incredible, it brings joy to see visitors able to walk through and appreciate this new building.”

Further to the funding that has built the new entrance building, Lachlan Valley Railway Heritage Centre has successfully obtained a further grant of $19,690 from The Community Building Partnership Program which will go towards building a 5-metre by 15-metre extension to the existing entrance and display building.

The Lachlan Valley Railway Heritage Centre is not just a museum, but an interactive experience and a functional facility where maintenance and restoration works are carried out. It is widely considered and promoted as Cowra’s most significant industrial heritage site.

$25 Million to Celebrate and Connect Local Communities Across Regional NSW

People in the Cootamundra electorate can celebrate their community and reconnect with neighbours and friends at local markets, carnivals, festivals and fairs, thanks to the NSW Government’s new $25 million Reconnecting Regional NSW – Community Events Program.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said with regional residents getting out and about again after the challenges of drought, fire, COVID and floods, the funding will help local communities reconnect once more.

“This program will support eligible regional Local Government Areas to host activities and support the events, hospitality and tourism sectors as increasing numbers of visitors return to regional NSW,” Ms Cooke said.

“The past two years have been difficult for our small communities with people disconnected from family and friends, which is why the NSW Government is backing local events that bring local communities together again.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the funding will help regional councils stage events that bring communities together, while also supporting local job creation and injecting cash into local economies.

“The NSW Government is backing events that will help to reinvigorate communities and contribute to a sense of improved wellbeing and connectedness in 2022 and beyond,” said Mr Toole.

“People are getting out again and we want to see communities thriving and businesses benefitting from more local activities, events and opportunities in the regions.”

The $25 million Community Events Program is part of the $200 million Regional Recovery Package, designed to support economic and social recovery across regional NSW by creating new jobs and supporting community events, shows and festivals to boost tourism.

Applications open Thursday 7 April 2022 for events held over the next 12 months.

For eligibility criteria and program guidelines, go to: http://www.nsw.gov.au/communityevents