COOK Shire Council will benefit from new state-of-the-art communications thanks to the Federal Government’s Stronger Communities Programme, Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said today.
As part of an overall technology upgrade to Cook Shire council’s Administration Building, Council will receive a $20,000 grant to supply a direct cable link to the Council building.
“My congratulations to Council, in order to get the grant they’ve made a significant contribution from their own funds knowing that in the long-term, this upgrade will improve community resilience and viability,” Mr Entsch said.
“The upgrade will ensure that Council’s telephone systems, which currently stop working during power failures, will remain stable during natural disaster events so that Local Disaster Management Group services can operate from the Council building.”
Mayor Peter Scott welcomed the funding, saying the technology will promote community participation with opportunities for students, businesses and community groups to make use of video and teleconferencing facilities, such as digital classrooms to receive training remotely.
“Currently, there’s no readily-available access to higher education in the Shire, which is a vital resource to combat youth unemployment and departures from the region,” Mayor Scott said.
“Travel costs and time away from home inhibit Cook Shire residents from attending important training sessions. Although we have a fully sealed road and daily air service, travel costs are expensive.
“Reducing these costs will provide a tangible economic benefit to Council, individuals, not-for-profit organisations and businesses in the shire, encouraging upskilling and economic growth in the region.”
The Australian Government, in the 2015-16 Budget, provided $45 million over two years to fund small capital projects (between $5,000 and $20,000) in each of the 150 federal electorates.
Mr Entsch worked closely with Building Active Connected Communities (BaCC) during the grant assessment process. BaCC is an initiative of the Bendigo Bank and provides financial support for small projects in the community.
“I’d like to thank panel members who provided their time and expertise to assess and prioritise the projects that were then submitted to the Department of Infrastructure for approval,” Mr Entsch said.
“With their assistance, we’ve been able to allocate $300,000 over the last two years to council- and community group-driven projects in Leichhardt, which will have a real and lasting benefit for local people.”
Find out more about BaCC at http://www.baccfnq.com.au/about-us/bacc