Council will receive $1 million in Commonwealth Government drought funding to deliver a range of regional initiatives that support economic recovery.
The Commonwealth funding approval gives the green light for four key projects valued at $1.5 million to help the region recover from two successive years of lowest annual rainfall on record:
• 37 tourism and town signs to increase visibility of local towns and visitor attractions
• Drought and emergency water supply at Eden Valley, Moculta and Mount Pleasant
• District footpath renewal program to connect retail, commercial and service centres
• Upgrades to Barossa Bushgardens plant nursery to increase seedling production
The projects collectively will create nine jobs during construction and utilise local contractors and suppliers where possible.
The Commonwealth’s Drought Communities Programme funding will be boosted by a further $565,000 stimulus funding through the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program to deliver the footpath upgrades.
Mayor Bim Lange said the funding has been directed to key projects that can be delivered by mid-2021.
“In particular, the water supply project will bring much-needed relief to the communities of Eden Valley, Moculta and Mount Pleasant,” he said.
“We know these communities have been hit hard by rainfall deficit, and more broadly, we have seen a 40 per cent decline in grape harvest yields in 2018 and 2019 compared to 2017.
“New standpipes at Eden Valley and Moculta and upgraded standpipe infrastructure at Mount Pleasant will provide extra capacity and security for primary producers, plus critical access to mains water in emergency, power permitting.
“The Commonwealth has recognised the Barossa as an engine room of the State’s economy and this funding will support both new employment and increased productivity across multiple sectors.”
All four projects will be completed by June 2021, with Council providing project support and additional funding.
Council will accelerate projects where possible to deliver on-the-ground results as quickly as possible.