$1 million has been provided by the Federal Government to communities across the Southern Downs region as part of the Drought Communities Programme (DCP). The $1 million in relief funding included $200,000 for sporting and community organisations to replace water tanks and install water saving devices. As well as $250,000 for towns and villages to repair and upgrade their community halls.

Southern Downs Mayor Tracie Dobie says, “Community halls and the region’s sporting and community organisations have now all completed their projects with funding through the DCP. With the on -going impact of drought on our communities, every little bit of relief helps. These projects used local tradespeople and sourced supplies from local businesses delivering a boost to the local economy.”

Lyn Wright, Secretary of the Allora RSL Sub-Branch, said the DCP funding they received helped preserve an important part of Allora’s rich heritage. “We’re trying to maintain a building that the people of Allora built a long time ago. Our hall is a part of the community,” Ms Wright said. “We used a local business to upgrade our wastewater system. Now we can offer more welfare services to our community because we don’t have to spend so much time and money on maintaining our hall.”

Neil Newman, Vice President of the Ballandean Football Club, said the DCP funding meant the club could save water and keep their playing field looking green. “The new in-ground watering system means we can use the water we collect in our dam to make the club’s field look much greener and is in better condition for playing, ” Mr Newman said. “We’ve also installed water tanks, a UV filter and a new bubbler. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback about the bubbler— it’s working a treat.”

The funding also included $200,000 for the Leyburn Auxiliary Water Treatment upgrade and $200,000 to install 24-hour drinking water dispensing stations across the region with works on the projects currently underway. The funding also provided $150,000 dedicated to carting water to rural residents not connected to the urban water supply.

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