The next round of Community Impact Grants have opened as Wodonga councillors unanimously approved recommendations for February's round of recipients. The February round was put on hold due to COVID-19. There were three different types of grants which the community could apply for, including Community impact Grants, Community Impact Infrastructure Grants and Community Impact Partnership Program Grants.
Cr Brian Mitchell and Cr John Watson said there were many deserving organisations had applied. "There are some very worthy and hard-working clubs and organisations who have applied." he said.
Mayor Cr Anna Speedie echoed Cr Danny Lowe's sentiment that the funding stretched further when community groups were involved. "We are a better community for having these groups out there," she said. The next round of Community Impact Grants is now open. For more information and to apply, visit the grants and sponsorship page.
www.infopond.com no CR+LF
"It addresses two priorities for Wodonga waterways; the removal of invasive species and the engagement of peri-urban landholders with key threatening processes on private land." Stage one will involve the removal of woody weeds including Willows from this section of the waterway. "This part of the project will reduce threats to biodiversity and habitat loss by clearing a 2.25 ha urban public park site on Felltimber Creek of invasive Black willow and other woody weeds," she said.
"Willows will be cut, poisoned and removed or stem-injected in-situ where suitable to retain a temporary habitat structure." Stage two will involve replanting with native species. This will be done across two community planting mornings will be held in winter to plant 1000 locally appropriate species, mainly shrubs and understorey, to connect the existing remnant River Red gums in the riparian zone.
Stage two will be conducted across a series of weekends throughout July and August. The Friends of Felltimber Creek, who are partnering with WULN, have received funding for the project through the Commonwealth Communities Environment Program.
Assistant Minister for Territories and Regional Development Nola Marino said the Regional Deal will seek to ensure the region prospers over the next decade by supporting population growth and economic development, while also ensuring it remains a nationally significant, liveable and prosperous region. “The Deal will be the first cross-border Deal in Australia, providing an opportunity to harmonise some of the regulatory barriers the region faces and to drive local growth and productivity,” Assistant Minister Marino said.
“We recognise the current challenging circumstances for Albury Wodonga as an important border town. The evolving COVID-19 pandemic situation and the subsequent border closures are directly affecting the region and all towns along the Victorian border. While these measures are necessary to ensure the health and safety of our community, we recognise the social and economic hardship they place on communities. So our collective commitment to the Albury Wodonga Regional Deal has never been more important than it is right now and signing the Statement of Intent is a vital step forward.”
NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said the Deal reflected the significant opportunities for the region, with several broad focus areas outlined in the Statement of Intent.
“All Governments have agreed to focus on economic development, cross-border harmonisation, productivity enhancing infrastructure and connectivity improvements, enhancing liveability, leveraging the region’s quality health and education facilities, as well as supporting the Indigenous community as key pillars of the future Deal,” Mr Barilaro said. Victoria Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes said these areas of focus will shape the business and community consultation about the commitments to be included in the Regional Deal.
“Locals should be consulted, as they know what will work best to meet community needs – they will continue to be critical to a Deal of which the region owns and can be proud,” Ms Symes said.
Mayor of Albury City Kevin Mack said community consultations will begin shortly to understand the priorities, opportunities and challenges that exist in the region. “It is important we work hand-in-hand with the local community at every step to ensure the Deal will help secure the future prosperity and liveability of the region,” Cr Mack said.
Wodonga Mayor Anna Speedie said all levels of Government remained committed to progressing a Regional Deal in the face of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Business and community consultation will provide an opportunity to better understand and consider how the Deal can also play a role in addressing community priorities following the impacts of the 2019-20 bushfire season and the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Cr Speedie said.
Minister for the Environment and Federal Member for Farrer Sussan Ley said what makes this agreement unique also makes it potentially the most exciting of Australia’s Regional Deals so far.
“With five different signatures, this is a real signal of cooperation from each level of Government that we want to help local businesses and our communities to thrive. This cross border region is always at its best when we are able to work together,” Ms Ley said.