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New choirs bring welcome spirits lift in the bush.



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Media Release

Mike Kelly MP

Federal Member for Eden-Monaro Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Support

Office of the Hon. Dr Mike Kelly AM MP Member for Eden-Monaro, Shop 16, City Link Plaza, Morisset Street, Queanbeyan NSW 2620

June 26, 2008 08-077

New choirs bring welcome spirits lift in the bush Establishing 80 new choirs in drought affected regional and rural areas areas is likely to lift spirits, the Member for Eden-Monaro, Mike Kelly said this week.

Dr Kelly was applauding the Federal Government’s providing an additional $446,000 to Sing Australia to expand its network of choirs in rural and regional areas.

“Our farming families and people in small rural towns like Batlow in Eden-Monaro for example are doing it tough as the drought continues relentlessly,” Dr Kelly said. “The pressures on them are immense.

“It’s all compounding, with the reduced rains causing financial difficulties, stock losses and crop failures on top of the relentless mental and physical demands of farming.”

Through the Connecting Australia in Singing project, Sing Australia has already 3000 members and has established 100 choirs since the beginning of 2007.

The new money will allow Sing Australia to continue funding those choirs and set up 80 new ones around the nation.

“This project will supplement the already considerable help our Government is giving to people who live and work in drought-affected areas,” Dr Kelly said.

“We hope that by joining a choir, rural people will connect with one another through singing together. Hopefully the choirs will cheer people up.”

Ultimately, Sing Australia’s choirs will be self-supporting. They will be given their song books and CDs and will be encouraged to seek local community business support.

Businesses already have shown interest. And groups will be able to apply to local government for assistance, such as offering free hire of venues or grants to buy a keyboard.

Media inquiries: Terry Bransdon 0488 499 166