THE Nationals’ Member for Riverina and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has delivered more than $4.2 million towards an upgrade of Clarinda Street and a multi-purpose centre to be constructed in Cooke Park.

The funding is thanks to the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Fund – Infrastructure Projects Stream – which is providing nearly $9 million in the Riverina and Central West.

The project, being organised through the Parkes Shire Council, will see footpath and lighting upgrades along Clarinda Street as well as installation of modern furniture and green areas. A multi-function centre in Cooke Park will complete the project, which will help improve the town’s ability to host major events.

Mr McCormack said a project of this scale – with a total cost close to $8.5 million – would help put Parkes on the map as a destination for tourism and business events.

“I’ve attended the Parkes Elvis Festival and have seen first-hand what a great job Parkes Shire Council does to host a world-class event and attract many people to the town,” Mr McCormack said.

“This project will help take festivals such as the Elvis Festival to the next level as well as attract further business opportunities and other events to boost the local economy.

“A third round of the Building Better Regions Fund – another $200 million – has been announced in the 2018-19 Budget and I strongly urge organisations and the community to think big and take advantage of this initiative when applications are called later this year.

“The Liberal and Nationals’ Government is committed to the needs of rural and regional Australians by driving economic growth and building stronger regional communities.”

Mr McCormack said round two of the Building Better Regions Fund would deliver $8.749 million for the Riverina and Central West  - $3.685 million to the Whiddon Group to build aged care accommodation at Temora, $4.234 million to Parkes Shire Council for main street revitalisation and Cooke Park multi-purpose centre and $829,000 to Cowra Shire Council to complete its CBD project.

Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government, John McVeigh, said the Building Better Regions Fund delivered significant economic and social benefits to the community.

“Under round two of the Building Better Regions Fund – Infrastructure Projects stream, the Federal Government is investing well over $200 million in 136 projects with a total leveraged project value of $459 million,” Dr McVeigh said.

“This means in each successful community much anticipated local projects are receiving the funds needed to take a big idea and make it a reality.”

The second round of the Building Better Regions Fund, which includes the Community Investments stream and the Infrastructure Projects stream, is expected to create some 10,000 jobs from over 240 projects.

Fast Facts – Building Better Regions Fund Infrastructure Projects stream

$4,234,992 of Federal Government funding towards a total spend of $8,469,984 for the Parkes Main Street Revitalisation and Cooke Park Multi-purpose Centre. The project will redevelop southern Clarinda Street with footpath upgrades, updated lighting, modern street furniture and green areas to feed into Cooke Park and a new multi-use function centre. It will improve the liveability of the region through having better facilities and hosting of events, increasing community pride and promoting arts and culture.

Shane Manning