Two major funding announcements to benefit the Narrandera Library and Barellan took place at Narrandera this week.
The first was the announcement of $77,000 worth of funding into a study of levee options for Barellan and the second was over $53,000 to supply technology and furnishing to the Youth Centre in the Narrandera Library.
Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke was in Narrandera to announce the funding and explain what it will mean for Narrandera.
The funding for Barellan will investigate the best course of action to future-proof the town from any major flood events.
“We know that Barellan is a community that is highly at risk from storms and flash flooding, and in fact in 2012 the Mirrool Creek bank broke and there was substantial flooding around that area.”
“We as a government know that when you do good planning, then you have good results coming out of that,” said Ms Cooke.
According to Barellan resident Cr Kevin Morris, the 2012 flood has had a substantial impact on the community.
“2012 was horrific; they ended up with water through the whole town. It was certainly a once-in-a-lifetime event, I believe. It was devastating.”
“At the moment household insurance is now up, because it counts as a flood area.”
“If we can get a levee bank to get the water to go around the town, that would be ideal. But also for everyone to agree; there’s no use going in and building a bank, only for everyone to say that it’s in the wrong spot and they’ve done the wrong thing,” Cr Morris said.
Ms Cooke said the amount in the grant will allow the surveys to be thorough.
“With this study, $77,000 will go a long way to understanding what is required as a government to protect that beautiful community of Barellan going forward.”
“We really need to get the study done and examine all the options in the event of a flood or flash flooding, and once we understand what those options are, it will inform the government, and the Shire Council, as to what the next step will be in terms of shoring that community up,” Ms Cooke said.
The funding for the library is part of a second round of funding for the library, after $200,000 was also awarded in funding in April of this year.
“We’re going to have a space that is dedicated to the young people of the town,” said Manager Community Development and Library for the Narrandera Shire Council Sue Killham.
“We’re going to be able to run programs there, have things like VR [virtual reality] and movie programming. We’re putting technology in that is matched by the technology at CSU, so our young people will be able to play here with the things that they will use if they go into that technology field at university.”
“I think it evens out that playing field for the youth in our town and gives them a space they can own. We’ve long recognised that there isn’t a space for that’s owned by the youth in town. We’ve had youth centres in the past, but they’re no longer running,” she said.
Ms Killham said that Narrandera has a large population of young people who are on the path to adulthood.
“They need a place where they can work and play and be safe. A library is an ideal place to put that space.”
Mr Cooke said she was proud to be part of a government that understood the significance of rural and regional communities.
“The state government has taken the decision to invest further in the library. We’re very excited about that.”
“From my perspective, it brings together two great passions of mine; our public libraries – there’s one in every town, and I know how important they are for communities right across the region.”
“And of course, my other great passion is youth, and making sure that our young people have the future that they deserve by being here in our country towns.”
“They don’t have to leave to access education, to access resources, and they can get what they need right here, where we are,” Ms Cooke said.