Building Better Regions in the Riverina and Central West

The Coalition Government’s new Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) will invest in projects that will create jobs, drive economic growth and build stronger rural, regional and remote communities into the future.

This new $297 million fund launched by Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash said that the BBRF will deliver infrastructure projects and community activities located outside the major capital cities.

The Nationals’ Federal Member for Riverina Michael McCormack said, “locals know their community best and the BBRF gives community groups and councils the opportunity to think outside the square. I look forward to seeing what projects local communities in the Riverina and Central West feel will best strengthen our region.”

Funding under the BBRF will be available in two streams:

  • The Infrastructure Projects Stream will invest in projects that involve the construction of new infrastructure, or upgrade or extension of existing infrastructure.
  • The Community Investments Stream will invest in local events and activities, strategic regional plans and leadership and capability building activities.

“There are key differences between the new BBRF and previous funds,” Mr McCormack said.

“Under the BBRF guidelines, projects in major capital cities will not be eligible, as this fund is specifically for rural, regional and remote communities.


“A brand new source of funding will be available for community projects – a Community Investments Stream. The Community Investments Stream might help expand a local festival, attract a theatre production or major sporting event to the region to bring more visitors to the town, or it might be leadership or business training for young locals.

“A new social benefit criteria will allow applicants to show how their project will make their region a more attractive place to live, or improve community connections.

“Projects in remote and very remote areas will receive a loading on their project score, and also will not need to produce 1:1 matching funding.

“Also, projects will now be assessed against projects of similar size, so small community projects are not competing against huge projects.

“We’ve designed the BBRF to back projects that help build the kinds of communities our children and grandchildren either want to stay in or come back to.

“When the Government invests in a region it builds confidence across the entire community and confidence is key in regional communities.

“I strongly encourage and call on local community groups and councils across the electorate to take advantage of this great opportunity, so that our communities can be further enhanced and strengthened,” Mr McCormack said.

The Program Guidelines for the BBRF outline the type of project proposals sought, how to lodge an application, how assessment will be conducted, and critical program dates.

The BBRF replaces the National Stronger Regions Fund which has now closed.

To access the BBRF guidelines, and to lodge an application from 18 January 2017, visit or contact Mr McCormack’s electorate office.

Cristy Houghton