Namoi Unlimited will call on the Commonwealth Government to extend drought funding for member councils.
The decision was the result of a meeting between members of the joint organisation in Gunnedah this week.
The five member councils of the JO – Walcha, Liverpool Plains Shire, Tamworth Regional, Gwydir Shire and Gunnedah shire – each received $1 million under the government’s Drought Communities Program but feel more is needed.
Chair Jamie Chaffey said the joint organisation had been asked to provide feedback to the government after members met with special drought envoy Barnaby Joyce on a recent advocacy trip to Canberra.
“We were asked to provide feedback on what the commonwealth can do to help drought-affected communities, and there’s a feeling within our organisation that additional round of funding to stimulate the economy is needed,” Mr Chaffey said.
“An additional round of funding of potentially up to $2 million for each of our councils won’t make grass grow or put water in dams but it will send money through local businesses, community groups and support employment during this time.
“What we hope is that by investing in local infrastructure, the money will provide another economic stimulus as we enter a New Year and the summer months.”
We have a valuable insight into what our communities say will help them through this ongoing period of drought.Jamie Chaffey, Namoi Unlimited chair
Mr Chaffey said the Drought Communities Program was an “excellent initiative”.
“Our member councils have responded positively to the program, demonstrating that we are capable of acting quickly and efficiently to plan and deliver projects to stimulate our local economies,” he said.
“Community consultation across the region has helped us shape our request and any future decision making about what to apply for, we have a valuable insight into what our communities say will help them through this ongoing period of drought.”