FOLLOWING on from the announcement that Cairns Aquarium will receive Federal Government funding for its new Reef and Rainforest research education centre, the Coalition Government has announced three more major grants for Far North Queensland under the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF).
Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch has congratulated the successful applicants in securing the grants, which are designed to strengthen regional communities through diversifying the economy, creating jobs and developing partnerships between government and local organisations.
The three additional projects are:
• Spinal Life Australia Ltd will receive $4.4 million towards its $8.8 million project to construct a Spinal Life Healthy Living Centre at Cairns North.
• Mapoon Aboriginal Council has been awarded $1,564,646.00 million towards its $1,664,646.00 Mapoon Accommodation project at Westcourt.
• The third successful applicant is Douglas Shire Council, receiving $1.125 million towards its $1.5 million project to renew Noah Creek Bridge at Cape Tribulation.
Mr Entsch said he’d worked closely with the Spinal Life Australia project in recent years but was glad to see the grants being delivered to all three applicants, which will provide many benefits to our region.
“The Spinal Life Healthy Living Centre will include supported transitional, respite and holiday accommodation; a full suite of specialised allied health services; a hydrotherapy pool; and gymnasium,” said Mr Entsch.
“It will also provide training opportunities to skill our local workforce and create ongoing healthcare jobs, while supporting Spinal Life's vision for every Australian with a spinal cord injury to live an accessible, equitable and empowered life.
“The Mapoon Accommodation Project will provide critically needed accommodation consisting of 8 units with a central BBQ/outdoor area for visiting works and service delivery agencies in the Mapoon Community.
“This will also lead to the establishment of local businesses and increased employment opportunities for local residents, and is the first step towards the creating a sustainable tourism industry in the community,” said Mr Entsch.
“Finally, Noah Creek Bridge is a one lane, four span timber girder bridge on concrete pylons and is in poor condition.
“Douglas Shire Council can now renew the structure using new technology, eliminate costly maintenance, reduce business interruptions, and ensure the only access to Cape Tribulation remains functional for the next century.
“I congratulate all the successful applicants and look forward to working with them to deliver the many benefits to our communities,” Mr Entsch said.
The Building Better Regions Fund received more than 500 applications with around 100 being approved.
Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash said she created the Building Better Regions Fund to help build strong communities for decades to come.
“I aim to help build the kinds of regional communities our children and grandchildren either want to stay in or come back to, and projects like these do exactly that,” Minister Nash said.
“After a competitive merit-based selection process, there are always those who were not successful and are naturally disappointed. We know this and we've got dedicated staff in the Department of Industry to give tailored feedback to each unsuccessful applicant to help improve those applications for next time. They can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Minister Nash said she expected to open another round of BBRF before the end of the year. More information about the Building Better Regions Fund is available at: www.business.gov.au/bbrf