An initial idea on how to put $1 million in Drought Communities Program funding to good use is bing investigated by Edward River Council.
The Federal Government funding, to be distributed by the council, is intended to provide short term local employment and procurement, while also addressing social and local community needs.
Mayor Norm Brennan said some more information about the funding was received by council recently, with examples on how the funding has been used in other areas.
He said it gave council the idea it could be used to provide further relief to local farmers taking advantage of its Drought Relief Water Allocation Program.
‘‘In other areas it has been used for water and delivery to property,’’ Cr Brennan said.
‘‘Council is already enabling drought-affected ratepayers in the region to access up to 30,000 litres of council’s rural water per application, free of charge, for stock and domestic use.
‘‘To access the water, they need to pay their own freight costs.
‘‘I have already had discussions with (general manager) Adam McSwain about potentially using some of that money to subsidise the cost of delivering that water.’’
Cr Brennan said other potential uses for the fund are yet to be discussed by council.
In the meantime, Cr Brennan said the Drought Relief Water Allocation Program has been extended for another six months, now ending in August.
He said the program has been well received since its introduction in September, with 77 applications received in the three-month period leading up to Christmas.
‘‘I encourage all drought-affected ratepayers who require additional stock and domestic water to make use of the support we are providing,’’ he said.
Drought Relief Water Allocation Program application forms can be accessed at www.edwardriver.nsw.gov.au, or from council’s Deniliquin Customer Service Centre.