Cessnock Council has received more than $1.3 million in funding from the first round of the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities program, and will submit six projects for consideration in the second round.
The council will receive $637,429 towards recreation precinct access improvements, $345,143 for a playground at Aberdare Veterans Memorial Park, $225,580 for a playground shade program for the local government area, and $110,978 for a fence upgrade at Kurri Kurri Sportsground.
The aim of the fund is to deliver crucial local infrastructure to improve the quality of life of people living in regional NSW and following unprecedented demand for projects in round one, the funding has been doubled to $200 million for round two.
Council has endorsed the submission of six applications for round two, for projects including a floodlight upgrade at Baddeley Park, a regional playground at Bridges Hill Park, sporting amenities at Birralee Park (to replace the 30-year-old junior facilities), a new splashpad for Cessnock Pool (including slides, fountains, shade and equipment), public domain works for the Branxton Town Centre Masterplan, and toilet upgrades for community halls.
As part of the State Government’s assessment process, members of the community will be chosen at random and asked about their preference for each proposed project, so council urges residents be prepared to take this important call.
Cessnock mayor Bob Pynsent said following council’s success in round one, there is a high chance many of these projects will go ahead.
“Just this week it was announced that we were successful in receiving just over $1.3 million from round one of the Fund which will lead to great improvements across the region,” he said.
“Our success in winning grants comes down to having good plans in place and submitting strong applications and we can thank the dedicated council staff for this.”
NSW Liberal MLC Taylor Martin said the NSW Government’s significant investment in Cessnock will provide residents with improved facilities the whole region can enjoy.
“This is fantastic news for Cessnock. The community has been calling out for upgrades to local facilities and I’m thrilled these can now be carried out,” he said.
“Stronger Country Communities funding is an investment in local infrastructure to improve the lives of residents and enhance the attractiveness of our region – this funding will help us do exactly that.”
Applications close May 4 and the announcement of successful projects is expected in August. For more information, visit nsw.gov.au/strongercountrycommunities.