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Drought and dollars on Western Division agenda

At the Western Division Shires meeting in Cobar last week l-r: Mayor of Wentworth Shire Melisa Hendricks, Brewarrina Mayor Phillip O’Connor, President of Local Government NSW Councillor Linda Scott, Walgett Shire Deputy Mayor Ian Woodcock, Cobar Mayor Lilliane Brady, Minister for Western NSW Adam Marshall, Administrator at Central Darling Shire Bob Stewart, Bourke Mayor Barry Hollman and Carrathool Mayor Peter Laird PHOTO: SUPPLIED

The drought and drought funding were the main subjects on the agenda when Western Division Councils met in Cobar last week.

Funding for drought affected communities, on-farm assistance and water security were prominent among the issues discussed during the mid-term conference.

And as a measure of the cost of the drought, the state government detailed how more than $750 million in funding was being divided across affected member communities.

Bourke Shire Council General Manager Ross Earl attended the meeting and said strong lobbying by the group had resulted in extra drought funding in the state budget.

Speakers included the Minister for Agriculture and Minister for Western New South Wales Adam Marshall, Member for Barwon Roy Butler and Member for Murray Helen Dalton.

“Minister Marshall highlighted a number of the State Government funding opportunities including the next round of Stronger Country Communities Funding which opened this week,” Mr Earl said.

“It was good to see the Minister at the meeting and that he was able to provide answers to most of the questions put to him. He also committed to attend future meetings of the Western Division Shires, when invited.

“President of Local Government New South Wales Councillor Linda Scott was the first speaker of the day and as always provided a concise yet detailed outline of the work being undertaken by LGNSW.

“In her address Councillor Scott said she had seen first-hand the devastating impact of drought during her many visits to rural and regional communities over the past 12 months and was pleased persistent lobbying by LGNSW had paid off.

Read more in the printed edition of the Western Herald.

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