Ahead of the Eden Monaro by-election, or as it's being coined on social media the 'buy-election', on July 4, the electorate has today been given $2.5 million in funding under the federal government's, Building Better Regions fund.
Here is where the money will go:
- $2,470,363 for the Bega Valley Shire Council to redevelop the Bega Regional Gallery; construct an indoor sports facility (squash courts at Pambula, NOT the Bega indoor sports stadium) and upgrade the skate park at Eden;
- $20,000 for the Merimbula Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism to deliver a two-day event which showcases the region;
- $20,000 Cooma Chamber of Commerce Incorporated to deliver a strategic plan for local businesses to drive local economy in the future and understand the issues faced by business.
- $50,000 for Bega Valley Shire Council to research three key regional industries – tourism, agribusiness and health and aged care to form a basis for community and economic strategies.
Above: An artists impression of the Bega Valley Regional Gallery upgrade.
Federal Nationals senator for New South Wales Perin Davey said, "It is a fantastic outcome for Eden-Monaro, with four projects receiving $2,560,363 under this latest round of funding."
"These include projects will drive economic growth and local jobs and procurement at a time we need them most. Communities in Eden-Monaro are continuing to show amazing spirit and strength as they support each other through these tough times and I am glad to see this latest round of BBRF will provide much-needed support at such a crucial time."
The Bega Regional Gallery controversially missed out on NSW Regional Cultural fund money recently. An ABC investigation uncovered the gallery's $3 million upgrade project had been considered the most worthy by independent assessors, but did not make it through the second stage of the application process, which was ministerial review.
The ABC reported Deputy Premier John Barilaro and then-arts minister Don Harwin signed off on the grants, and had instead awarded the Batemans Bay Mackay Park Aquatic, Arts and Cultural Centre $8 million.