PROJECTS at Kaniva, Edenhope, Goroke and Harrow will benefit from $1.5 million in drought funding.
West Wimmera Shire Council has received the money from the federal government’s Drought Communities Program, designed for infrastructure projects that drive jobs and spending.
Member for Mallee Andrew Broad visited Edenhope on Tuesday to announce the money.
The program also includes $1.5 million each for Yarriambiack and Buloke councils.
West Wimmera Mayor Annette Jones said council had lobbied extensively for the government to review the Drought Communities Program, which previously provided money to Queensland and NSW, but not Victoria.
“We took our concerns to Canberra recently through our regional delegation,” she said.
“I'm very heartened that we were able to get our message across, be listened to and have action taken to support isolated rural drought-affected communities in our region.
“This money will provide an opportunity to get some great projects off the ground.
“We will employ local contractors and involve shire businesses to ensure the money stays in our region.”
Cr Jones said the council had run extensive community consultations in the past few years to determine priority projects in each town.
”This has meant that the work around how best to spend such a large sum of money has already been done,” she said.
“Some projects were already at the shovel-ready stage.”
Cr Jones said projects included an upgrade for the Edenhope Mechanics Hall, and restoring the Kaniva Hall.
Money will also go towards an upgrade for utilities and amenities at Lake Charlegrark, and a new play-space for Goroke.
An upgrade for Harrow Recreation Reserve is also planned.
Cr Jones said plans included replacing change rooms at the site to incorporate rooms for netball players, and space for personal trainers and group fitness.
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