Pirie council gets extra $1m as drought aid

PROJECTS: Wandearah farmer Jack Keain, who is helping council to determine projects for drought-relief funding, holds a photograph of the district's early settlers.
PROJECTS: Wandearah farmer Jack Keain, who is helping council to determine projects for drought-relief funding, holds a photograph of the district's early settlers.

The Port Pirie region is the "lucky" recipient of $2 million drought-relief funding.

Some councillors and the Port Pirie Regional Council chief executive officer are determining how to spend the cash.

Next week's council meeting is expected to receive a recommendation from the group.

Cr Neville Wilson, a Merriton farmer who is a member of the projects' group, said the council was "lucky" to win the money from two rounds of federal funding allocations.

"It is an injection of capital projects into the rural area that probably we would have struggled to get as a result of budget tightening and the city bias," he said. "It will balance things and everyone will be pretty happy."

Cr Wilson was joined in the group by fellow rural councillors Jack Keain, who is a Wandearah farmer, Kendall Jackson and Ali Gulin.

With chief executive officer Peter Ackland, they were to gather information about projects for consideration by council under the grant funding.

Mr Ackland told the November meeting that it was likely that projects would need to be finished towards the end of this year.

He said the same councillors had been involved in considerations under the first $1 million round of funding and would again evaluate options.

"Given that there has been recent consultation with community associations regarding projects for the initial round, and there are the draft town plans for additional consideration, it is reasonable to presume that potential projects can be identified in this manner," he said

"A list of potential projects is hoped to be presented for consideration in December, but this may not be able to happen until January.

"As part of this consideration, a review will be undertaken of the potential impact on the council's capital works program if the new projects were to be internally managed.

"This would form part of the report to council."

The first projects had a "tight timeframe", he said.

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