Gympie MP Tony Perrett
Gympie MP Tony Perrett David Crossley

Get in early for new regional funding, Perrett says

GYMPIE needs to hit the ground running in applying for funding from a restructured Federal Government regional funding program, Gympie MP Tony Perrett has warned.

Mr Perrett said he had been disappointed to learn that previously $50 million from the Stronger Regions Fund was used to support projects in major cities which depleted the pool of money available for much needed projects in regional and rural Australia.

“I welcome the restructure of the scheme into a better targeted and regionally focused Building Better Regions Fund,” he said.

“The proposed changes by the Federal Minister for Regional Development, Fiona Nash, to direct funds only to infrastructure and community investments projects outside capital cities can only be a boost for Gympie.

“Gympie has a long list of desired infrastructure and community investment needs which have the potential to open up the region to growth, increase education and job opportunities, make it more attractive through sporting, community, civic facilities and improve our lifestyle options.

“At the Gympie Youth Forum earlier the week it was evident we are losing the talents of our young people because of the lack of facilities and support.

“This comes down to money and it is plainly too expensive for locals to solely carry the burden of investing in infrastructure which will improve the attractiveness of the region.

“Financial support from the Federal Government will help to put projects on the drawing table.

“As these sorts of programs rely on local government to put up proposals to Canberra it is important that the Gympie Regional Council hits the ground running.

“We have no time to waste in getting in our applications.

“The GRC is the best placed to identify proposed projects as it has a grass roots appreciation of what our community really wants and needs.

“The funds are hotly contested and we will have to compete with other regions which are not backward in aggressively promoting their needs.

“This is not just about identifying a project.”