Gunnedah Shire Council will allocate $1 million to a new program to try and stimulate the economy in the ongoing drought.
At yesterday's meeting, councillors voted unanimously to allocate the funding for the Community Resilience Program for this financial year and will lobby the state and federal governments to match that amount.
The council will also allocate a further $200,000 to fund initiatives and community consultations for potential projects and employ a temporary coordinator to drive the program.
The coordinator will also be responsible for identifying suppliers and contractors who would benefit from delivering projects, and residents who need emergency assistance.
The one-off program was sparked by the flood of suggestions the council received when it called for project ideas after receiving $1 million under the federal government's Drought Communities Program last year.
More than $4 million worth of projects remain, providing a "ready pool of projects for consideration of funding under a Community Resilience Program", council's general manager, Eric Groth, wrote in the business papers.
Mayor Jamie Chaffey said he discussed the program with deputy premier John Barilaro at the Local Government Conference on Monday and said he would "be back tomorrow knocking on his door" after the motion has passed.
"This will be Gunnedah Shire Council leading the way for local government in NSW, supporting their communities that are affected by drought," Cr Chaffey said.
"We know now that [the drought] is hitting our retailers, our main street ... we know we've got businesses that are putting people off and unemployment figures are being affected in our community and the worst thing that can happen is when people who want to by choice live in our community can't and need to go elsewhere to find work.
"I see this recommendation ... as a way for Gunnedah Shire Council to be working shoulder-to-shoulder with the other two tiers of government that have already put millions of dollars forward and I'm confident that they will give us a good hearing as we go forward and ask for them to continue and match this million so we can turn our million into $3 million ... and do all we can to keep jobs, to keep people in our community and be supporting our community the best way that we can through this drought."