Member for Barron River Steve Wettenhall, Member for Cook Jason O’Brien and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt today announced more than $216,000 in funding to support 16 projects for rural and remote communities in Far North Queensland from the final round of the Building Rural Communities Fund.

Mr O’Brien said this round of funding focused on the region continuing to recover from Cyclone Yasi.

“One year on from the devastating effects of Cyclone Yasi this funding is continuing to give a much-needed helping hand to community organisations who are assisting in rebuilding confidence in the local area,” Mr O’Brien said.

“245 rural projects across Queensland have shared in $2 million in funding under this initiative including 92 projects receiving funding this round.”

Mr Pitt said the funding was having a positive impact in many areas around the state including Far North Queensland by supporting a great variety of projects designed to make rural and regional communities resilient and better places to live, work and raise a family.

“The recovery in affected communities is ongoing but a number of projects funded in round four focus on rebuilding confidence and resilience within our local communities. For example:

• The Rainforest Aboriginal People’s Alliance received $13,710 towards initiating the first-known identifiable women’s leadership development program specifically designed for and about Traditional Owner women.
• The Cassowary Coast Regional Council received $1200 for Spaces and Places which will assist in developing a Regional Community Markets Strategy.
• The Cardwell Chamber of Commerce received $15 000 to develop the Cardwell Strategic Action plan to assist the recovery of the emotional state of residents and re-establish business confidence for existing and new businesses. 
• The Tully and District Chamber of Commerce received $13 300 for creating a ‘Banana Republic’ a novel way to re-vitalise the Tully economy. The project will attract visitors to Tully by promoting the town and its people.  The additional visitors will boost the economy and morale of a town that is still suffering from the impacts of Cyclone Yasi.

Mr Wettenhall said one year on from Cyclone Yasi and floods, Queensland’s rural and remote communities are continuing to rebuild and the Building Rural Communities Fund gives communities a much needed hand.

“The Building Rural Communities Fund contributes to improving the economic, social, cultural and environmental capacity of Blueprint for the Bush communities,” he said.

“The Blueprint for the Bush includes communities outside South-East Queensland (excluding the major regional centres), communities west of the Great Dividing Range, small communities east of the range, and those in Cape York and Torres Strait,” Mr Wettenhall said.

Projects eligible for consideration under the Building Rural Communities Fund were required to directly benefit a Blueprint for the Bush community.

The Building Rural Communities Fund is administered by the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI).