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Hartsuyker pushing for additional funding for Maclean shire area.
Media Contact: Greg Pierce 02 66 52 62 33 0408 532 785 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org Canberra: 62 77 4447
Luke Hartsuyker MP Federal Member for Cowper
January 16, 2004
Hartsuyker pushing for additional funding for Maclean shire area The Nationals Federal Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, says the Maclean shire area deserves special classification in order to qualify for additional funding from the Federal Government.
Mr Hartsuyker is pushing for the Maclean region to be included in such initiatives as the Sustainable Regions programme.
The Sustainable Regions programme was launched in 2001 to assist regions which are experiencing major economic, social or environmental change.
Seven large geographical areas across the nation have been included in the programme, including some parts of north east New South Wales.
Under the original classification scheme many parts of the Tweed, Ballina, Byron, Lismore and Kyogle local government areas are able to apply for funding under the Sustainable Regions programme.
The Federal Government has committed more than $100 million to designated local government areas in the seven regions.
Mr Hartsuyker has held extensive talks with the Deputy Prime Minister, John Anderson, as to why Maclean deserves classification. Today Mr Anderson and Mr Hartsuyker met with the Maclean shire mayor Chris Gulaptis.
“Businesses and the community in the Maclean shire have endured significant change in recent years and that is why I am pushing for the region to be included in a funding programme such as Sustainable Regions,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
“If the Maclean area does not meet the criteria for that programme then what I am saying to the Deputy Prime Minister is we need to look at other avenues of funding to address some of the economic and social challenges in the area.
“My focus is on outcomes but accessing additional assistance does take time and will require a strong partnership between community and government.
“If we can have the Maclean shire designated as a special area then it will be up to the local community to determine what projects are going to give them the momentum to deliver real benefits for their area. Those projects identified by the community will be what I will be trying to secure funds for.
“After years of rising unemployment in the Maclean shire, the jobless rate is dropping but I know we need to do more. Government funding is not the sole solution but I believe it could be the catalyst to future growth opportunities,” Mr Hartsuyker said. ENDS