Dubbo saleyards in the running for $1m boost

THE Dubbo saleyards could clinch more than $1 million in federal funding to boost regional areas with its operator's four-times-weightier commitment.

Dubbo City Council has a project to pit against competitors that has an important co-contribution criterion more than covered.

It already allocated $4 million to the upgrade and expansion of the Dubbo Regional Livestock Markets, preliminary work on which has started.

The council's Ken Rogers identified the offer as a strength of the application to the Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF).

"In this case it's $4 for every $1 so that should make it very appealing to the fund," he said.

The council's attempt to secure a share of the $175 million latest round of the fund gained momentum last week when its expression of interest found favour with Regional Development Australia (RDA) Orana.

RDA Orana invited the project, along with one from Coonamble and one from Mudgee, to proceed to full application.

Within a day Mr Rogers and his team knuckled down to work to have everything done by the April 11 deadline.

They had a head start - a report prepared for the NSW Division of Local Government as part of the budding saleyards redevelopment project - which Mr Rogers said would form the supporting documentation for the application, which would focus on transport infrastructure.

Dubbo's project was one of 159 made to the fourth round of the RDAF, earmarked for grants of between $500,000 and $15 million for priority regional infrastructure projects that also leveraged funding from state and local governments and the private sector.

It edged out other expressions of interest submitted by various organisations from Dubbo, Bourke, Walgett and Wellington.

RDA Orana had to make some hard decisions and selected projects that clearly met identified regional priorities, chairman John Walkom said.

"We received a number of high-quality project proposals and it was difficult to choose those that will proceed to the final stage of the application process," he said.

"The projects chosen took into account the priorities of our regional plan and other identified community priorities, and address the needs of the region.

"The projects are backed by a strong level of community support and are ready to proceed.

"They will have a positive long-term impact on our region and neighbouring regions, by contributing to economic development and community infrastructure."

The Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport will assess all applications to ensure compliance with the guidelines.

The council missed out on a share of the first round of the almost $1 billion fund, but celebrated success in the second round with its $3.5 million Barden Park Regional Athletics Centre concept.

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