Prime Minister Scott Morrison took time out from the Bathurst 1000 today to travel to Blayney to announce that the applications for the Drought Communities Program are open.
The $75 million project is designed to pump money back into rural towns to help support those businesses that are feeling the impact of farmers having to spend so much of their finances on feed.
Mr Morrison urged visitors to the Bathurst 1000, and the population in general, to visit rural towns to help them recover from the drought.
“Pop into Blayney and other parts of the central west and get to enjoy what this wonderful part of Australia has to offer,” Mr Morrison said.
“We’re rolling out the $75 million Drought Communities Program extension and that is a million dollars for every single of the drought affected council areas around Australia,” he said.
“Applications opened last Friday and we’ve already had one put an application in and we have half of them putting applications together.
“Government can’t make it rain, but what we can do is invest and bring forward investment in projects and services and other things that keep the money churning around in the towns.
“This will give communities the opportunity to invest in road works, or dog fencing up north, in water carting.
“It keeps the hairdresser open, the mechanic open, place like this farm supply shop and it will help us get from where we are now, to where we want to be when it’s raining again.”
Blayney mayor Scott Ferguson said that council already had a number of ideas as to where they would spend any money received.
“We’re meeting on Monday to discuss this more fully but we’ve already identified things like upgrading community bores, water storage and harvesting at the equine centre and upgrades at some of the buildings in our village’s showgrounds,” he said.