• Tony Bosworth

$1.68m for Bilpin, St Albans, Colo Heights to fund community projects


Three Hawkesbury suburbs are big winners in a $1.68m grant announced this morning to get projects including recreation parks, sporting facilities and local markets back on their feet after last year’s bushfires.


Hawkesbury Mayor Patrick Conolly and Hawkesbury MP Robyn Preston


Hawkesbury Mayor Patrick Conolly welcomed the grant which is co-funded by the NSW and Federal governments.


The money will fund all-age access parks, recreation, public art and bushfire prevention projects across Bilpin, St Albans and Colo Heights, Mayor Conolly said.


Specific projects will be announced later – council have just received the funding details and will be working through a list of specific projects.


“Hawkesbury City Council submitted community projects for each bushfire affected area as part of the funding application for the Local Economic Recovery Program,” Mayor Conolly said.


“This funding announcement is great news as it will be a huge boost for our community and take us much further on the journey towards bushfire recovery with projects that really matter to our community members,” the Mayor said.


Bilpin, Colo Heights and the Macdonald Valley were significantly impacted by bushfires in late 2019 and early 2020. While much of the physical clean-up has now been completed, recovery work has been delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.


The Council carried out online engagement programs in the communities between April and May and have now identified actions that community members believe would help them to rebuild and reconnect.


A council spokesperson said council had used the community ideas “to identify the scope of community projects for each of the three areas of Bilpin, Colo Heights and the Macdonald Valley, including their cost, alignment with project criteria, strategic alignment with the Hawkesbury Community Strategic Plan”.


“Council looks forward to commencing work on these projects for our community thanks to this additional funding support from the NSW Government,” Mayor Conolly said.


Hawkesbury MP Robyn Preston who initially announced the funding said it was exciting news for Colo Heights, Bilpin and St Albans.


“This funding will help support local infrastructure projects such as recreation parks, sporting facilities and markets, which will help local businesses,” Ms Preston said.


Deputy Premier, John Barilaro, said the NSW government ws focussed on supporting the recovery of communities in bush-fire affected regions across NSW.


“The funding of local infrastructure projects will drive economic and social recovery, strengthen morale, increase preparedness and future natural disasters and help communities get back on their feet in the short, medium and long term,” Mr Barilaro said.


Federal Senator The Hon. Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women said the fund was supporting Hawkesbury’s recovery from last summer’s bushfires by delivering on-the-ground funding.


“This investment in bushfire-affected townships will help the renewal process, bolster tourism and support jobs,” Senator Payne said.


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