DROUGHT GRANTS: Isaac Regional Council is one of the recipients. Picture: Tara Miko
DROUGHT GRANTS: Isaac Regional Council is one of the recipients. Picture: Tara Miko

Four vital groups share $272,000 in drought funds

FOUR local organisations across Central Queensland and the Whitsundays are among 59 to share in almost $5 million as part of a drought support package.

Communities Minister Coralee O’Rourke announced the recipients of the State Government funding, highlighting how rural, regional and remote areas of Queensland have been struggling with the impacts of the ongoing drought.

The recipients included Whitsunday Community Services Inc ($88,000), Isaac Regional Council ($84,000), Clermont Dolphins Swimming Club ($14,083) and Emerald District and Social Development Association Inc ($86,000).

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“We know the COVID-19 pandemic has meant drought-affected regional Queensland communities are facing social and economic challenges on two fronts,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

“This ongoing drought, and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, is having a flow-on effect in Queensland communities, spreading from farms to businesses and households and that’s why we’re providing grants to boost these regional, rural and remote communities.

“This funding will support these regional communities to unite – in spirit, if not in person – and recover.”

The majority of funding will go to local organisations that will be contracted to provide funding to distribute to individuals, families and households affected by drought through Flexible Financial Hardship payments.

Support will be extended to non-farming small business operators such as tradespeople and retailers that are impacted by drought.

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Third party payments such as rates and electricity are also eligible.

A range of community events and activities will also be supported.

These grants form part of the Palaszczuk Government’s $74.6 million drought funding package.