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Funding is Available for Public Spaces

Six local councils in the Northern Inland are in the running to unlock millions of dollars in State Government funds to improve parks and public spaces.

Six local councils in the Northern Inland will have the opportunity to deliver new and improved public spaces for their local communities thanks to the NSW Government’s $250 million NSW Public Spaces Legacy Program as part of the NSW Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan. By focusing on fast-tracking development assessments for projects that deliver much-needed jobs and housing, Tenterfield Shire, Uralla Shire, Gunnedah Shire Glen Innes Severn Shire and Moree Plains Shire Councils will be eligible for up to $2 million each in funding for parklands, town squares and main streets, while Armidale Regional Council will be eligible for up to $3 million as a ‘regional city council’.

“As part of the NSW Public Spaces Legacy Program, councils that push forward with assessments of job-creating projects will be incentivised with funding for more, and better, public spaces,” NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said. “This program will unlock construction jobs across the State helping combat the economic shocks of COVID-19 while making communities a better place to live."

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said the program would create a lasting community benefit across the state. “Now we’re helping councils to prioritise local planning projects that will boost jobs and investment in their communities with a $250 million incentive to create new and improved public spaces. We want councils to think big and bold and deliver legacy projects – new parks, new walking trails, more walkable and inviting streets and open spaces for their communities.”

“The Public Spaces Legacy Program is like a game show which no one can lose,” said member for Northern Tablelands, Adam Marshall. “All these councils have to do is show the Department of Planning how they will accelerate important local projects, improve assessment timeframes and then deliver, and its pay day for their communities.”

“This is the time for councils to instigate positive change for their communities, by not only cutting red tape but delivering parks and public places which make their towns and villages more liveable for residents. Every job created by speeding up the development process is a win in a rural town during this difficult period, and so really there is no losing with this scheme.”

Councils which adopt a Local Acceleration Program have between 1 September 2020 and 30 June 2021 to improve their activity. Further information about the NSW Public Spaces Legacy Program is available on the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment website.

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