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Monday, 30 November 2015
Page: 14056

Regional Australia

Ms McGOWAN (Indi) (14:14): My question is to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development. As you know, Minister, applications from Indi for round 2 of the National Stronger Regions Fund are in, projects have been assessed and we are keenly awaiting an announcement from the government. I have been asked by members of local government in Indi to ask you when we can expect an announcement for this very important community building initiative.

Mr TRUSS (Wide BayDeputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development) (14:14): I thank the honourable member for her question. I am pleased that she has drawn attention to this very important initiative by the coalition government to provide support for worthwhile projects in the most disadvantaged areas of Australia.

This program is an economic program rather than a social program although it, obviously, has social benefits as well. It is designed to help those areas that have been left behind in our nation's growth or those who are suffering particular local or individual difficulties. As a result, the projects that were announced in the first round, including quite a number in the honourable member's electorate, have been about addressing disadvantage and providing opportunities in regional communities.

For the second round, as the honourable member referred to, the applications have closed. The assessment is at an advanced stage and I expect that announcements about the successful projects in this round will be made in the next week or so.