A Shorten Labor Government will honour recently announced regional grants for two major projects in Lismore, providing certainty for the community that work can commence as soon as possible.

Stage 2 of the Lismore Regional Sports Hub Oakes and Crozier Ovals and the expansion and upgrade of Norco’s Lismore Ice Cream Business Unit were recently awarded funding under the Building Better Regions Fund, and Regional Growth Fund respectively.

Rather than waste time revisiting the grants process, a Shorten Labor Government would deliver the grants. These important projects will not only improve community amenity, but will also create important jobs and economic activity.

Stage 2 of the sports hub project will see the completion of the two main structures at Oakes Oval and Crozier Oval, with a Shorten Labor Government committing $6 million.

The Norco expansion will see the Lismore Ice Cream Business unit expand capacity to move to a 100 million litre production facility from the present 55 million litres annual throughput. Labor will provide $15 million in funding, matched dollar for dollar by Norco.

Labor has previously supported programs to fund projects in regional Australia through a number of programs including the Regional Development Australia fund and the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program.

With nearly $1 billion lost to local councils through the indexation freeze of Financial Assistance Grants from 2014-2017, Labor knows that regional councils are still playing catch up with a backlog of projects that were put on hold during these years.

It’s important that we move quickly to deliver projects as quickly as possible, rather than starting the whole process from scratch.

Investment in community infrastructure will create jobs, support the lifestyles and living standards of regional Australians and enable regional cities and towns to attract and retain population.

It is important that regional communities have certainty in the lead-up to the Federal Election and know that these identified projects have secured funding and will proceed.