A large number of community buildings across the Campaspe Shire will have solar panels and storage batteries installed courtesy of the Federal Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program.

The Campaspe Shire Council has allocated $450,000 of its phase three LRCI funding for the project, which will commence following an assessment that is being conducted by Council currently.

Federal Member for Nicholls, Damian Drum, said the Campaspe Shire would also allocate LRCI funding towards the recently announced Rushworth-Murchison Rail Trail.

“In addition to the $1.5 million that the Federal Government has committed for the Rail Trail, Campaspe Council will use some of its latest LRCI funding for the project, pushing the Government’s commitment well beyond $2 million,” Mr Drum said.

Campaspe Shire received $5.2 million in the third phase of the LRCI program, taking its total entitlement across all three phases to $10.6 million.

Other approved phase three projects include the upgrade of netball court and lighting at Kyabram Recreation Reserve ($750,000) and the upgrade of gravel roads across the Shire ($1.8 million).

“With the challenges presented by COVID-19, bushfires, floods and other events, the past couple of years have been tough for communities, businesses and local councils,” Mr Drum said.

“That’s why we have moved quickly to approve funding for LRCI projects, with each of these providing a vital boost for our local communities, backing local jobs and economic growth while delivering lasting upgrades that will benefit residents for years to come.”

Campaspe Shire Mayor, Chrissy Weller, said Council was thrilled to receive confirmation of its latest LRCI funding.

“Development of the solar program, to reduce electricity costs through the installation of solar and batteries on community buildings, can now progress,” Ms Weller said.

“Around 20 buildings across the municipality are under assessment. Once this assessment has been completed, we will inform the community which buildings will be involved in the program.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Barnaby Joyce, said $1 billion of funding was flowing nationally under the third phase of the LRCI program.

“This program is having a significant impact across the country, with more than 2000 projects already completed or under construction, delivering upgrades to local roads, bike paths, community halls, playgrounds, parks and sports facilities, as well as improved accessibility to public facilities,” Mr Joyce said.

Assistant Minister for Local Government, Kevin Hogan, said the LRCI program formed part of The Nationals’ in government unwavering commitment to back local councils and their communities through COVID-19 and secure a stronger future out the other side of the pandemic.

“We want to deliver the best outcomes for locals under this program, which is why we have listened and acted on council feedback, providing a longer delivery window for local governments to pursue larger, more complex projects that may be a higher priority and have a bigger impact on the community,” Mr Hogan said.

Under the LRCI program, $41 million will be collectively distributed to Campaspe Shire Council, City of Greater Shepparton, Mitchell Shire Council, Moira Shire Council, and Strathbogie Shire Council.

Phase three LRCI funding Total LRCI funding
Campaspe Shire Council $5,245,590 $10,605,878
Moira Shire Council $5,089,786 $10,117,908
City of Greater Shepparton $4,066,992 $9,204,174
Strathbogie Shire Council $2,879,136 $5,561,814
Mitchell Shire Council $2,348,512 $5,516,955
Total $19,630,016 $41,006,729

Mr Drum said the funding would be spent on improving each council’s local road networks and for the delivery of priority community infrastructure projects.

“It’s been a tough few years filled with unexpected and exceptionally difficult times for all of us, and all our local governments and all our communities here in Nicholls have pulled together to keep the gears turning,” Mr Drum said.

“This is yet another example of the Liberal-Nationals Government continuing to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with councils and the communities they serve, delivering the funding needed to create jobs, economic stimulus, and road and community infrastructure that will benefit locals well in to the future.”

For more information on the $2.5 billion LRCI program, visit https://bit.ly/3J4Sw96


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