The State Government has approved a grant for $673,000 to improve sporting and community facilities across the Narrandera Shire.
Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke presented the cheque to Narrandera Shire mayor Neville Kschenka. The money has come from the Stronger Country Communities Fund, a $200 million fund created by the State Government to build or improve sporting infrastructure and community facilities across regional NSW.
“I’m so proud to be here as part of State Government that continues to invest in wonderful towns and communities like here in Narrandera and the beautiful village of Barellan,” Ms Cooke said.
“I’ve got representatives here from all over the shire, from sporting groups, from schools, community groups, who I all know are going to really benefit from this. It’s a proud day for us here in Narrandera. I look forward to these projects coming together.”
The funding will be put towards two projects. The first will upgrade the Marie Bashir Park. The funding will pay to replace the fence around the cricket oval, to upgrade the skate park, to create a jogging track around the oval and to install a liberty swing in the playground, which will enable children in wheelchairs to enjoy the park.
A portable stage will also be paid for out of the grant funding.
The second project is to upgrade the Barellan Sportsground amenities.
“It’s a full change room for home and away, for football, netball and umpires, and then public toilets,” explained Jeff Mickan, President of the Barellan Football Netball Club.
“We’ve been given $273,000 out of this cheque, so it’s very much appreciated.
“Thanks to Steph for her work, and thanks to the Narrandera Shire Council, and the AFL is putting money in, and a big thanks to Roger Evans at the Narrandera Shire Council who’s really driven this for us. Money like this is always well-received, now and into the future,” Mr Mickan said.
Ms Cooke reminded the crowd that there were more opportunities for grant funding.
“Of course, this is just round one of the Stronger Country Communities fund. Round two is now open, and that gives sporting clubs the opportunities to apply to this fund again, to work with Narrandera Shire Council.
“In that round there’ll be around $1.5 million just for the Narrandera Shire. We will see that investment flow through as the year unfolds.”
The second round of Stronger Country Communities funding is already open to applications, and any interested community groups are more than welcome to approach the Narrandera Shire Council if they have any ideas for projects.
In addition to the grant, the amount was topped up by the Narrandera branch of the Bendigo Community Bank. While the final amount has not yet been disclosed, the donation was substantial.
“We wanted to do a major project in town. This came up and we all wanted to do it, because we all think it’s one of the best things that were happening in town,” said Sandra Carberry, the secretor and the marketing and media officer of the Narrandera Bendigo Community Bank.
“The young ones need something to do, so we were happy to go with that. We’re glad that we can be a part of the next generation’s entertainment.”