THE Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) has returned for round 5, and Gunnedah organisations will be hoping to benefit from the scheme just as they did last time.
Open to the council and community groups, the federally funded BBRF has a pool of $100 million each for tourism-related infrastructure boosting regional tourism recovery, and broader community infrastructure and investment.
The Parkes electorate got their hands on $18.8 million in round 4 of the grants, and some of that money landed in Gunnedah.
Ooranga Toy Library received $19,935 to help set up Messy Play Days at the facility, which involves kids experimenting with things like slime, water and paint, in what is described as a sensory experience.
Executive officer at Ooranga, Rebecca Dridan, said the government contribution was a major bonus for their organisation, and encouraged others to get involved.
"We've had to have a bit of an extension unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances, but things are progressing beautifully and we're looking forward to having it completed," she said.
"Most definitely [apply for funding], I think having a good relationship with your local council and federal and state members are always very positive ways for you to be able to access those opportunities when they arise."
Parkes MP and Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government, Mark Coulton, is also pushing people to make the most of the BBRF, stating it is of significance to regional areas - such as Gunnedah.
"There's no doubt 2020 was challenging in many ways, but the BBRF will help us to kick-start a new year, bringing support to community-driven projects in the Parkes electorate," Mr Coulton said.
"The BBRF has gone a long way to enhance local community facilities and create jobs.
"Projects like these being funded under the BBRF are delivering lasting benefits to communities in our region, and I urge councils and community groups to put forward their strong applications to help drive our local economic growth."
Applications are now open and can be submitted through the online portal at www.business.gov.au/bbrf. Applications close 5 March 2021, with successful applicants expected to be announced in mid-2021.