Vital Regional Investments Under Threat in Labor’s Budget

Vital community projects across our Cootamundra electorate are under significant threat, with the NSW Labor Government refusing to rule out scrapping the hugely successful Stronger Country Communities Fund (SCCF), Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said.

“I have written to the Minister for Regional NSW Tara Moriarty, highlighting how important this program is, and urging her to provide a rock-solid guarantee that the NSW Labor Government will continue to invest in our regional communities through the SCCF,” Ms Cooke said.

In what will be a significant test of Labor’s commitment to regional NSW, Ms Cooke is urging Premier Chris Minns, and Minister Moriarty, to commit to rolling out the $90 million in funding that had been set aside by the previous Coalition Government, for the next round of the program.

“Since the Stronger Country Communities Fund was implemented in 2017 by the previous Liberal/Nationals Coalition Government, it has invested over $56 million in 270 projects across the Cootamundra electorate alone,” Ms Cooke said.

“That’s 270 projects that would otherwise not have got off the ground, and now Labor is looking to just walk away and leave a gaping hole in funding across our region,” she said.

Ms Cooke highlighted just some of the vital investments that have been made in previous funding rounds in the Cootamundra electorate, including an investment of $981,202 towards a splashpad and plant room at the Cowra Aquatic Centre, a contribution of $629,797 for an all-inclusive playground at Taylor Park in Grenfell, and $792,416 for Lambing Flat Enterprises to upgrade the Community Connections building, including improving site accessibility.

“Alarmingly, this NSW Labor Government doesn’t seem to realise the devastating impact that cutting these investments would have on the everyday lives of residents across our Cootamundra electorate,” Ms Cooke said.

“This funding is an investment in the future of our regional towns and villages; funding that makes a meaningful difference every day, and we are not about to sit idly by as Labor turns its back on regional New South Wales.”

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