SEVERAL Wimmera towns will have new social infrastructure within the next year, now Yarriambiack Shire Council has taken possession of drought funding from the federal government.
Among them are Rupanyup, Murtoa, Minyip, Jung and Brim.
At the end of April, Yarriambiack was added to the national list of local government areas eligible for federal government funding under the Drought Communities Program.
The office of Member for Mallee Anne Webster said the council's share of $1 million had been confirmed earlier this month.
Brim Bowls Club will receive the single largest contribution out of the fund. The council is set to put $180,000 towards a new synthetic playing surface.
The council will use $100,000 of this on several projects in Murtoa, including putting air conditioning and lights into the town's mechanics hall and repairing the tennis courts.
In Rupanyup, $150,000 will be spent on upgrading the recreation reserve's lights. Another $85,000 will be put towards Minyip Recreation Reserve and a new irrigation system.
The council is set to spend a further $25,000 of the money on a new playground at Jung Recreation Reserve.
Mayor Graeme Massey said many of the projects were already in progress.
"We'd been moving towards getting the communities ready so the tenders can go out, which has happened in many cases," he said. "Many of these infrastructure projects would be outside of our normal endeavors to provide."
"To be funded the projects had to make communities more resilient to weather conditions: When the project was initiated 12 months ago we were in a drought.We had to use local labor as much as possible to complete the projects too."
To determine councils' eligibility, the Department of Water uses rainfall deficiency data from the Bureau of Meteorology, in conjunction with population and data on the region's reliance on agriculture.
Conditions of the program include that the council must complete the projects by June 30, 2020.
Warracknabeal farmer Ross Johns welcomed the funding, and said he thought the 2019-20 harvest season would be better for farmers in the area.
"What happens in droughts is agricultural production declines, meaning farmers are less likely to spend in or carry out longer term investment projects," he said.
"That affects other workers like freight contractors."
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