ORROROO is the SA winner of Rural Aid's inaugural Ten Town Makeover initiative, which aims to highlight the impact of one of the worst droughts in history on small country towns.
Established within Rural Aid's Sustainable Community program, the 10 country towns will receive a minimum of $100,000 commitment to support the makeover of the towns over a five-year period.
The $100,000 includes:
- $10,000 for town leaders to workshop with experts in rural/regional town renewal with the aim of developing a long-term renewal strategy.
- $90,000 will be spent on materials for maintenance projects identified by the town leaders. If available, materials will be sourced locally to support local businesses.
Rural Aid's Farm Army of volunteers (usually between 50-100) will spend a week in the town in the first year, bringing a welcome financial injection to the town's local businesses.
Support over the remaining years will be determined by the leaders of the town once the plans for the town have been developed.
Orroroo Carrieton Community project officer Jodie Boully was ecstatic to be selected as one of the Rural Aid 10 Town Makeovers.
"We can't make it rain, but this is our chance to get our community excited, band together, foster positive wellbeing and promote opportunities in our town," she said.
"This initiative gives us enthusiasm and focus towards some positive opportunities. The project will help stimulate and encourage the local economy.
"Equally, it is the injection of support we need to rebuild our confidence and community pride."
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Rural Aid chief executive officer Charles Alder said while the focus was largely on the impact of the drought on farmers and their families, equal attention should be given to the impact on rural communities.
"Small country towns play a critical role in supporting the social and economic fabric of their local communities," he said.
"This initiative will lift morale and inject much needed capital into the local community
"Small towns have a unique symbiotic relationship with the farms located around them.
"Farmers rely on their local town for off farm income through employment, farm employees and services from the local doctor, teachers, dentists, accountants and government support staff.
"Then there's the small businesses like the local pharmacy, grocery, butcher, bakery, bank and rural supply company. Take these towns out of the equation and the local ecosystem is impacted forever.
"We received over 60 applications and every one of the unsuccessful towns will be supported by Rural Aid in the future."
Other state winners included Alpha, Monto, Gayndah and Cunnamulla in Qld; Walgett, Barraba, Brewarrina and Coolah in NSW; and Lockington in Vic.
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