Official Media Release

More Funding To Benefit Youth and Create Stronger Country Communities In Upper Hunter

Michael Johnsen MP, Member for Upper Hunter and Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, today announced that the Nationals in Government have allocated an additional $100 million for infrastructure and programs that benefit the community and local youth.

Mr Johnsen said the Stronger Country Communities Fund will provide at least $50 million for projects aimed at young people (12-24 years) with the remaining funding for other local infrastructure, street beautification and community programs and events.

“The Stronger Country Communities Fund has already delivered much needed infrastructure for our Upper Hunter Electorate and confirmation that additional funding is available for youth and community projects is great news,” Mr Johnsen said.

“Hundreds of projects are being delivered and worked on right across regional NSW, including locally where rounds one and two of the Fund have funded millions of dollars-worth of local projects, including the Muswellbrook Aquatic Centre water and indoor activity park, and the improved facilities at the John Tucker Park at Paterson.

“I will do everything I can to help our local councils and other eligible organisations prepare applications for round three funding and talk about what the community wants and needs, to ensure we make the most of this fantastic funding opportunity.”

“Applications open on July 1 and successful projects will be announced from January onwards.”

“The Stronger Country Communities Fund invests in infrastructure projects in regional communities to improve the lives of residents and enhance the attractiveness of these areas as vibrant places to live, work, play and thrive.”

“Since we first rolled out the Stronger Country Communities Fund in 2017, the Nationals in Government have worked with all 93 regional councils to allocate funding to more than 1000 projects.

Mr Johnsen continued, urging young people and young families living in the Upper Hunter Electorate to think about the local infrastructure and programs they would like to see funded and share those ideas with the community and eligible organisations.

“These projects make a real difference to our local communities, such as sporting field lights that allow night-time play, and community hall upgrades, and I can’t wait to see the delivery of our electorate’s share of the $50 million in youth infrastructure and programs.”

Examples of youth infrastructure and programs that could receive funding include job skills training, youth festivals, youth centre upgrades, social inclusion and support groups, recording studio equipment, art studio upgrades and drama performance spaces.

For further information and the program guidelines, go to