Narrabri Shire Council’s tourism and cultural precinct, set to transform an area behind The Crossing Theatre, has been given a $1.4 million boost by the federal government.

Stage two and three of the project was announced as a funding recipient in round one of the Growing Regions Program last week.

New toilet facilities on Tibbereena Street have already been completed as part of the precinct works.

Upcoming stages of work will include landscaping, lighting, safety fencing, an all-accessible playground and improved car parking to accommodate vehicles of various sizes.

Mayor Darrell Tiemens welcomed the support for the tourism and cultural precinct.

“Investing in our tourism and cultural precinct isn’t just about enhancing our infrastructure; it’s about investing in the heart of Narrabri Shire,” Cr Tiemens said following the announcement.

“With $1.4 million in funding, we’re not only able to respond to community feedback on accessibility, but also lay the groundwork for a vibrant hub that reflects the rich diversity of our region.

“From agriculture to research, mining to sport, this precinct will serve as a beacon, drawing in visitors and bolstering our economy for generations to come.”

Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said that he was absolutely thrilled to see that Narrabri Shire Council has been awarded funding for stages two and three of the precinct.

“The former Coalition government provided $300,000 under the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants program for stage one of the project, which involved the construction of a new amenities block and access pathways, so I’m pleased Narrabri Shire Council has now been able to secure funding for the remainder of the development,” Mr Coulton said.

“The tourism precinct will ultimately transform Tibbereena Street into an attractive destination for community members and tourists. It will provide recreational facilities to encourage passing tourists and visitors to stop and spend time, and ultimately their money, in Narrabri.”

Neighbouring Moree Plains Shire Council is also a winner in the Commonwealth program, securing funds for the redevelopment of the Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre while Gunida Gunyah Aboriginal Corporation, in Gunnedah, was successful for its community cultural hub project.

Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King said the federal government is committed to investing in regional Australia to create jobs, build opportunity and unlock economic growth and productivity – making sure the regions remain great places to live, work and play.

“Our Growing Regions Program forms a key part of this commitment by investing in critical community and economic infrastructure across regional and rural areas in a fair and transparent way,” Ms King said.

“I look forward to seeing the successful projects roll out across the nation, supporting employment, stimulating economies and strengthening communities.”

Deborah O’Neill, Senator for NSW, said infrastructure is essential to growing the economy and creates jobs.

“Each of these projects was assessed through a merits-based process initially involving Senators and Members from across the parliament, and then was further assessed by the Department which determined the final successful bids,” Senator O’Neill said.

“No NSW representatives were involved in assessing the projects in our own state, because Labor knows that probity standards matter to Australian taxpayers. Each of these projects will bring significant benefits for these communities, making a real difference for people in Moree, Brewarrina, Narrabri, Caroona, Gunnedah, Dubbo and surrounding communities.”

The Growing Regions Program provides funding to local government entities and incorporated not-for-profit organisations for capital works projects that deliver community and economic infrastructure projects across regional and rural Australia.

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