Councils welcome regional $85 million

The NSW Government’s $85 million regional assistance package, including funding for local libraries, broadband internet connection and infrastructure, could help invigorate country communities, according to the Shires Association of NSW.

"Rural and regional communities deserve and need the same access to services and facilities as their city counterparts," President of the Association, Cr Bruce Miller said.

"While we haven’t seen the fine print, the Government’s $85 million package should go some way towards achieving this.

"Many communities don’t have adequate broadband access, and local roads and bridges badly need repairing. 

"We congratulate the Government for taking one of the findings in the Rural and Regional Taskforce Report seriously and making funding for the country a priority."

NSW Premier Nathan Rees said in a statement that the $85 million would be spent through seven programs over the next five years to stabilise rural communities and promote economic and job growth.

“This is money for small projects to kick-start the bush and improve services for our rural families,” Mr Rees said.

Mr Rees said the funding will be available from January 1, 2009.

To see the original funding announcement and the individual programs featured in the package click here.

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