Quilpie Outback Fringe Festival, one of the programs helped by TTTT. Pic: Contributed
Quilpie Outback Fringe Festival, one of the programs helped by TTTT. Pic: Contributed

Humungous grants for Darling Downs and southwest community groups

A charity has offered a generous sum of money to local councils and community organisations across the Darling Downs and southwest Queensland to help them deal with the challenges from the Big Dry.

The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) has awarded $549,149 in grants to projects for towns including Goondiwindi, Blackbutt, Cecil Plains, Quilpie, Winton, Roma, Stanthorpe, Miles, and Bullyard.

Since December 2018, the Tackling Tough Times Together program (TTTT) has already given $13,549,726 towards 431 projects that will support communities across the country that are experiencing prolonged rainfall shortages.

These grants were made to help drought-impacted regions access the resources needed to bring people together, so they can feel connected and supported.

Despite rainfall across some areas, these extended dry periods and long-term rainfall deficits may continue for some time, according to FRRR.

FRRR’s disaster resilience and recovery lead Nina O’Brien said that the TTTT program encourages communities experiencing the Big Dry to take the lead in their recovery and renewal.

“Places like Washpool in South Australia and Cecil Plains in Queensland are renewing their regions by upgrading local facilities to give people a place where they can come together in safety and comfort,” she said.

“We are delighted to be able to award these grants to help turn local ideas into reality.

“We know it’s challenging to get these projects off the ground in the midst of a pandemic, especially when many are dealing with reduced local fundraising capacity, and fatigued volunteers.

“We want people experiencing drought to know that there is still funding available.”

The TTTT program is flexibly delivered for communities to help with the challenges they face.

Some projects across the Darling Downs and southwest include:

  • Drillham Primary Parents and Citizens Association, QLD - Along the Garden Path - $13,000
  • Cecil Plains History Group - Relocation and Restumping of Norwin CWA Hall - $55,000
  • Goondiwindi Pastoral and Agricultural Society - Fencing for the Future - $60,000
  • Mulga Mates Centre Incorporated - Playground upgrade - $53,958
  • Roma Historical Precincts Incorporated - Preparation of a business case to be used as a supporting document for the development of the Roma Butter Factory - $49,800
  • Guides Queensland Warwick District - Refresh and replacement of the floor coverings in first Warwick Girl Guide hut $9878
  • Outback Gondwana Foundation Limited - Futureproofing with a forklift - $20,000
  • Stanthorpe Agricultural Society - Gotta get a Gator - $19,140
  • Warra Tennis Club Incorporated - Serving for sustainability with solar panels - $8710
  • Maranoa Regional Council - Ignite and Excite: Career Pathway Taster - $5530

TTTT is possible thanks to the collaborative support of several donors, including the Australian Government, from their $15 million contribution.

Generous contributions have also been made by Pratt Foundation, Stockland CARE Foundation, Paul Ramsay Foundation, The Snow Foundation, Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, Henroth Group and private donors from across the nation.

More information on the Tackling Tough Times Together grant program is available here.

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