Drought and bushfires have tested the Tenterfield community's resolve in recent months, but a new event will soon bring a little more cheer into the lives of locals.
Tenterfield Show Society will host a 'Lift the Country Spirit Music Event', headlined by country musicians.
The event is sponsored by a $25,000 NSW Government grant Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW Adam Marshall announced on Thursday.
Society entertainment coordinator Kim Rhodes hoped the concert would offer the community something to look forward to in an otherwise grim situation given the recent natural disasters. She said the grant would help to get as many people as possible to the Lift the Country Spirits Musical Event.
While the finer event details are yet to be finalised, event co-ordinators seek to attract as many people as possible from outlying communities to the free concert which they hope will also feature rides, games, and activities for local children.
"From north at Legume on the Queensland border down to Torrington, Tenterfield shire's southernmost community, not one person hasn't been affected by bushfires and ongoing drought over the past 12 months," Ms Rhodes said.
"Normally the Tenterfield Show draws people off the farm and into town for a catch up with friends, but this year the Show Society identified something extra might be needed to pick up the mood in the community, which is why we came up with Lift the Country Spirits Musical Event."
The Show Society will use some of the funding to hire buses to transport residents from smaller villages to the event for free, while also contributing to the artists' performance costs.
The concert will also be a fundraiser for the Show Society to rehabilitate its grounds, which were used by NSW Rural Fire Service helicopters and trucks during the bushfire crisis.
Ms Rhodes thanked Mr Marshall, Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor, and Federal Member Barnaby Joyce for supporting the Show Society with this grant. "I know it will have a positive impact in the community."
Mr Marshall said the musical event was a fantastic way to bring the community together during an incredibly tough time.
"Ongoing drought and consecutive bushfires have absolutely devastated both the Tenterfield community and local economy over the past year," he said.
"This $25,000 grant has been made available through the Drought Resilience Fund, which backs community driven initiatives that reduce social isolation and other risks to wellbeing brought on by the hardships of drought and the recent bushfires.
"As a community we need to check in regularly and look after mates we suspect might be struggling. This fund gives communities the kind of support they believe will lift their spirits and maintain those important social connections.
"I want to congratulate the entire Tenterfield Show committee for their advocacy on behalf of the community and hope a great time is had by all who attend," Minister Marshall said.
Communities wishing to apply can contact their local DPI Rural Resilience Program staff member to access the Fund or visit www.droughthub.nsw.gov.au
Federal Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce congratulated all involved. He has worked closely with both the Show Society and the State Government to see the event come to fruition,
"I commend the Tenterfield community for getting this event off the ground, and thank our State colleagues for their generous support of the project," Mr Joyce said.
"I was one of the first on the ground following the initial Tenterfield fires, speaking with all levels of government including directly with the Prime Minister, about what assistance we could provide for local people.
"It has been a pleasure to again assist the local community with the relief effort."
Federal Government assistance is still available for those affected by bushfire in the Tenterfield local government area.
The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) of $1,000 for adults and $800 for children is available. Eligibility for this assistance has changed, and now includes an extra $400 for each child already in receipt of the AGDRP.
Also available in Tenterfield are the $75,000 Emergency Bushfire Response in Primary Industries Grants, and the Natural Disaster Recovery Relief Grant of $15,000 for primary producers, small businesses and not-for-profit organisations to assist with the clean-up and immediate restoration expenses.
For more information about this assistance, contact Mr Joyce's Tenterfield electorate office on (02) 6736 1099.