Federal funding flows to boost Murgon tourism

A $60,000 grant for displays will bring Murgon’s fossil museum a step closer to completion, Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien announced today.

Murgon Country Creative Association will receive the federal funding through $1.3 million Round 22 of the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal’s Tackling Tough Times Together initiative, demonstrating the Liberal and National Government’s commitment to backing communities impacted by drought.

“The Murgon Fossil Museum building is nearing practical completion, and this investment through the Morrison Government will contribute towards the internal fit-out and displays for the museum and art gallery,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The museum is already boosting the South Burnett economy by creating about 40 jobs in construction, and it is the start of a bright future for local tourism, jobs, and the Murgon community.”

The Country Creative Association received $1,596,514 through Round 4 of the Morrison Government’s Building Better Regions Fund to construct the project, which includes an art gallery, fossil museum, art workshop, gift shop, and central prehistoric garden.

“This is an inspiring project for Murgon and the South Burnett that will capitalise on Murgon’s position as a significant Australian paleontological site and provide ongoing tourism and economic benefit for the region as it recovers economically from COVID-19 and the prolonged drought,” Mr O’Brien said.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the Government was proud to be continuing to back regional and farming communities still feeling the impacts of drought.

“As a proud regional Australian I know only too well how long the impacts of drought are felt, and with the additional economic pinch of COVID-19 it’s important now more than ever that we keep standing side by side with those hard-hit communities,” Deputy Prime Minister Joyce said.

“This initiative funds economy-boosting community events like regional fairs or arts shows, smaller infrastructure upgrades that improve communal amenities, volunteer facilities or accessibility, or purchasing vital equipment to bolster local operations and existing projects.

“These projects not only provide much-needed economic stimulus to communities, but also help reduce social isolation, drive leadership development and skills training, increase social and educational participation, address disadvantage for youth, reduce volunteer fatigue, and build local capacity.

“Our regions and agricultural hubs are essential to our national identity and economy, so when our farmers and their communities face the realities of taps run dry, it’s vital we rally around them to tackle those challenges together – and that’s exactly what this program is doing.”

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said the Australian Government has committed a total of $15 million to the Tackling Tough Times Together initiative, with a total of $13.7 million of this already out the door to make over 420 projects a reality for drought-affected communities.

“We’ve already seen fantastic benefits flow from the projects supported so far. I can’t wait to see this next round build on that legacy to achieve even more in our communities,” Minister Littleproud said.

“This Government has provided over $11 billion since 2018-19 to assist farmers, regional businesses and communities experiencing drought and this is just one commitment that provides immediate support to those communities as they weather and bounce back from the devastating effects of drought.

“I extend my appreciation to the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal for its work to help provide Australian Government and donor support to rural and regional communities.”

More information on the Tackling Tough Times Together program and the latest round of recipients can be found on the Foundation’s website at https://frrr.org.au/TTTT or by visiting the Australian Government Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications website at www.regional.gov.au/regional/programs.