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$198,000 for RCP [Rural Communities Program] demonstration projects in Hay and Coolamon.



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Media Release

 

John Anderson

Minister for Primary

Industries and Energy

 

DPIE 98/42A

 

15 April 1998

 

$198,000 FOR RCP DEMONSTRATION PROJECTS IN HAY AND COOLAMON

 

The Minister for Primary Industries and Energy, John Anderson, and the Federal Member for Riverina, Noel Hicks, today announced grants totaling $198,413 for two demonstration projects, one in Coolamon and the other in Hay, under the Rural Communities Program (RCP), part of the Government's Agriculture - Advancing Australia initiative.

 

Up to $150,113 will be provided to the North East Riverina Rural Counselling Incorporated to extend their service to include an information facilitator to coordinate information delivery systems and two financial counsellors to serve small businesses and farmers experiencing financial difficulties within the eight shires of the Eastern Riverina.

 

And up to $48,300 will be provided to the Hay Shire Council to help set up a Telecentre to:

 

• provide access to accredited training for individuals and groups in computer and computer­related fields;

• assist local businesses establish marketing and promotional campaigns using telecommunications and electronic distribution of information; and

• provide links between tertiary and distance education students, the local student hostel and the Telecentre.

 

"Both these demonstration projects, endorsed by the Rural Communites Program Advisory Committee, highlight features of the new RCP, particularly the ability of a single community group to determine its priority needs and d eliver more than one service," Mr Anderson said.

 

"These Projects will help test a new model and fine tune our program delivery to rural communities. They will also provide the Government with an indication as to the potential for this type of approach in the future.

 

"I see these Projecte as a good overall demonstration of some of the features we are trying to encourage under the Rural Communities Program.

 

"The RCP was developed in recognition of the disadvantages often experienced in rural and remote areas and the need to ensure people in these communities have access to services and information. The Program's emphasis is on using a local approach to solving problems. The funding helps local communities plan, organise and deliver a wide range of activities and projects relevant to their specific needs.

 

"The RCP is about fostering and developing Australia's rural and remote communities. It can provide grants to support projects that fall into one or more of the following categories:

 

• financial counsellin g;

• information provision;

• information services technology; and

• community development.

 

"The first round of applications for projects due to commence on 1 July 1998 have been reviewed by the Rural Communities Program Advisory Committee and I will be announcing funding details for all the successful projects later this month. A second round will be assessed in May 1998.

 

"I invite rural community groups across the nation to call Countrylink Australia for further information on the RCP as well as guidelines and application forms," Mr Anderson said.

 

Further information on the demonstration projects can be obtained from Ms Colleen Potter on (02) 699 32112 from the Hay Shire Council (Hay on Track), and Mr Bill Thompson on (02) 69 273 106 from the North East Riverina Rural Counselling Service Inc.

 

 

Further inquiries:

 

Mr Anderson's office

Robert Haynes (02) 6277 7520 or 0419 493 511

 

Countrylink Australia (9am-6pm EST weekdays)

 

1800 026 222