McCormack/Hodgkinson - Energising enterprise in regional NSW

The Federal electorate of Riverina and the State electorate of Cootamundra have secured much-needed funding under the most recent round of the Energise Enterprise program.

The Nationals’ representatives for Riverina, Michael McCormack and Cootamundra, Katrina Hodgkinson have said this vital support will help community organisations invest in new opportunities and stimulate jobs growth.

“This Federally-funded program delivered in partnership with New South Wales is assisting communities affected by water buybacks and helping to diversify their economies and transition to other non-irrigated industries,” Mr McCormack said.

“Congratulations to the successful applicants. I know first-hand how hard our local businesses and community groups have worked to secure their respective funding,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

Funding will benefit five local government areas shared by the Federal and State electorates. Some of the local projects funded under the Energise Enterprise Fund include:

-       Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council having received funding to the value of $25,000 for the development of an economic development strategy,

-       Bland Shire Council using $25,000 to conduct a 90-day business capability and skills development acceleration program to help educate business operators in West Wyalong on how to build and diversify their operations,

-       Funding of $25,000 will provide targeted business marketing training, with a specific focus on online marketing to maximise sales and attract customers in Weddin Shire,

-       Retail training to improve best practice visual merchandising skills will be delivered in Harden and Murrumburrah through funding of $8,525 to the Harden Regional Development Corporation, and

-       Cowra Shire Council will benefit from funding of $25,000 for an investigation into the labour and skill needs of the major businesses in Cowra and the region and a jobs summit will be held to address the challenges of attracting, developing and retaining a skilled workforce in the Cowra area.    

“These projects will bring significant economic benefits to the region, which will help ensure we have a thriving local economy for years to come,” Ms Hodgkinson added.

Federal Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash said that the Coalition Government was committed to basin communities doing it tough as a result of the Murray Darling Basin Plan and the Murray-Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Program, as well as the cap on water buybacks, represents this strong commitment.

“As a Minister who is based in the Basin, I understand just how vital it is to protect both the economic and social interests of Basin communities,” Senator Nash said.

“The Coalition is committed to investing in projects like this that will diversify and strengthen the local economy.”

New South Wales Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW, Skills and Small Business, John Barilaro, said the Energise Enterprise fund has been designed specifically to help regional communities create local jobs and to find new ways of investing and doing business.

“This funding provides support which will ensure the future of local regional communities, where our spouses have a place to work, our children can attend a good school and where the local grocer will still greet us with a smile when we do our weekly shop,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Many projects already funded from previous rounds of the Murray Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Program are delivering great results for local communities, and I congratulate the recipients on the hard work they continue to put in to secure this funding.”

Cristy Houghton