Stronger Communities Fund
Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council (CGRC) was provided $10 million from the State Government to kick-start the delivery of priority infrastructure and services for the local community, following the merger of the former Councils in 2016.
This Stronger Communities Fund (SCF) consists of two programs:
- Community Grant Program, allocating up to $1 million in grants of up to $50,000 to incorporated not-for-profit community groups, for projects that build more vibrant, sustainable and inclusive local communities.
- Major Projects Program, allocating $9 million funding to larger scale priority infrastructure and services projects that deliver long term economic and social benefits to communities.
Community Grants Program
46 community groups from across our region are reaping the rewards of successfully securing over $1 million in funding through the SCF grants program.
Council was very pleased to be able to fund 46 out of the 89 applications received, totalling $506,219 for Gundagai and surrounding communities and $602,972 for Cootamundra and surrounding communities.
In the past, Council would not have been able to provide this level of support to so many important initiatives throughout our region.
All applications were assessed by the SCF Assessment Panel in accordance with guidelines produced by the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet.
Major Projects Program
The balance of the Stronger Communities Fund, $9 million, is for Council to invest in larger scale projects to deliver long-term economic and social benefits. In accordance with the guidelines.
Council will make decisions regarding the allocation of the funding across a range of projects at its ordinary meeting to be held on the 31 July 2017.
Council encourages its community members to provide feedback on the projects being considered. Information about the projects can be found on the Council website and within Council libraries and administration offices. Community feedback closed at 4pm on Monday 17 July 2017.
The community feedback will be used by the Stronger Communities Fund Assessment Panel in its decision-making process.
To ensure the Stronger Communities Fund is allocated to projects in an open and transparent way, the NSW Government requires Council to apply high standards to the decision making process, including the appointment of a local assessment panel that includes an independent probity adviser.
Councils are to fund projects that deliver new or improved infrastructure or services to the community.
Projects that are prioritised for funding must meet the following criteria:
- have been through a community consultation process
- demonstrate social and/or economic benefits to the community
- consider issues of sustainability and equity across the broader community
- demonstrate project feasibility and value for money, including full lifecycle costs
- did not have funds allocated by the former councils
- give consideration to the processes and procedures outlined in the capital expenditure review guidelines issued by the Office of Local Government.
The Stronger Communities Fund Assessment Panel is prescribed by the NSW Government and is to include:
- Administrator or delegate
- State Members of Parliament or representative
- Regional Coordinator of the Department of Premier and Cabinet or delegate
- Other members, appointed by the Administrator, as required
- An independent probity adviser, appointed by the Administrator to advise the Panel on their deliberation and assessment process
Council officers have developed a program of priority projects following consideration of current asset condition data across the CGRC area, community strategic plans of the two former councils and projects contained in existing Asset Management Plans.
The list of projects under consideration have also been reviewed by Council’s Local Representative and Implementation Advisory Committees.
Council have recently hosted a number of community listening sessions for the purpose of preparing the next Community Strategic Plan and Villages Strategy, at which valuable feedback was gathered and has contributed to Council’s understanding of community priorities for potential investment decisions.
The proposed projects for the $9 million Stronger Communities Fund Major Projects Program are as follows:
- 1. Cootamundra Water Main Replacement $2.0M
- 2. Water Supply to Nangus Village $1.295M
- 3. Stormwater Mitigation Strategy $1.0M
- 4. Large Scale Adventure Playground and fitness centre $1.0M
- 5. Footpath Renewal Program $500K
- 6. Cootamundra Large Scale Teen Children Playground $500K
- 7. Water Supply to the Dog on the Tuckerbox $600K
- 8. Cootamundra Pool Water Park $400K
- 9. Cootamundra Cemetery Alternate Access Road $400K
- 10. Gundagai Pool Tiling & Disabled Ramp $300K
- 11. Gundagai VIC Redevelopment- Ramp & Disabled Toilet $300K
- 12. Saleyard Lighting and Electrical Upgrade $300K
- 13. Fisher Park Lighting Upgrade $250K
- 14. Investment into Department of Education Multi-Purpose Facilities $200K
- 15. Gundagai Netball Courts Upgrade $200K
- 16. WWII Fuel Depot Site access and paths $200K
- 17. Stephen Ward Rooms-Library Outdoor Area $200K
- 18. Gundagai Main Street Public Toilet $150K
- 19. Cootamundra Pool Shade cloth $100K
What happens next?
Council will present the projects for assessment to the Stronger Communities Fund Assessment Panel. The assessment panel will review all projects, including community feedback, and make recommendations for Council to formally endorse.
A report including the panel recommendations will go to Council on 31 July 2017. The projects endorsed by Council will be published on Council’s website.
Successful projects will be included within Council’s Operational Plan for delivery. Funding under this program is required to be spent or committed by 30 June 2019, with all funding acquitted before 31 December 2019.
These are all important projects. What happens if a project is not funded, or has not made the shortlist?
Council staff responsible for infrastructure projects are regularly reviewing grant opportunities and alternative funding to enable new projects to be delivered in future operational plans.