• Ellis Gelios

Building Better Regions Fund stretched as regions look to reboot

Updated: Oct 11

Regional facilities across Australia are set to receive a significant cash injection as part of the Building Better Regions Fund's (BBRF) fifth round of funding.


The BBRF is a federal government initiative, with 298 projects on the horizon across the country after a sizeable $300 million AUD investment.


Horsham Aquatic Centre: Image Source: Horsham City Council website

The latest round of funding will aim to generate 9900 jobs and deliver $330 million AUD in economic stimulus, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce announced.


However, multiple MPs have recognised how heavily over-subscribed the BBRF is with between five to eight times the number of applicants existing to the available funding allotment.


Speaking to Flow on Thursday, Dr. Anne Webster, the member for Mallee in Victoria, detailed just how overstrained the BBRF was despite the recent funding boosts.


“We had 1.7 billion dollars worth of applications...so it’s pretty challenging.”

Dr Anne Webster believes the BBRF is overstrained

Mallee projects to receive $6.9 million AUD in funding include the Mildura Rural City Council, the Horsham Aquatic Centre, the Wycheproof Saleyards and works in St Arnaud.


Liberal Party MP and the Federal member for Baker in South Australia, Tony Pasin, echoed Webster’s sentiments about the overstretched BBRF when he spoke to Flow on Thursday.


“I’ve actually heard a rumor that in relation to round five, it [BBRF applications] could’ve been as much as seven or eight times, that is for every dollar of grant funding allocated, there was seven-to-eight dollars of applications,” said Mr Pasin.

Webster told Flow that she is actively championing the cause to expand the BBRF in a bid to continue strengthening infrastructure in The Mallee.

“We are now going to councils and people who are wanting to achieve great things for the community and asking them to step up and provide that information.
“Obviously we are going into an election and I want to be able to fight for projects across Mallee that are important to the community.”