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Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

$10 million in funding to strengthen drought affected communities

$10 million in Australian Government funding will be made available for projects supporting families and communities hit by drought.

Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, today encouraged organisations across drought-affected Australia to apply for funding through the Strengthening Drought Affected Communities – Local Answers initiative.

"Funding through the Strengthening Drought Affected Communities – Local Answers initiative is designed to strengthen communities by funding local, small-scale, time-limited projects that help communities build skills and social supports," Mr Brough said.

"The money will be available for organisations and groups located in Exceptional Circumstances declared areas or in communities demonstrating significant hardship as a result of the drought.

"Organisations can apply for funding between $3,000 and $300,000 for each project in total for a period of up to two years.

"The Australian Government is committed to listening to local communities and using their knowledge and experience to develop effective, practical solutions specific to local communities and their needs in time of drought.

"The Local Answers initiative is part of the broader $490 million Stronger Families and Communities Strategy, giving communities the power to develop their own solutions and help them to help themselves through small-scale, time-limited projects.

"I encourage organisations to apply for a share in $10 million in funding to support families and communities doing it tough.

"This funding is above the already announced $1.1 billion of Australian Government additional drought assistance this year," Mr Brough said.

Applications for Strengthening Drought Affected Communities – Local Answers close on 20 December 2006.

Guidelines and application forms are available from the Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs website.