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To inform Council of the request for financial assistance for a youth scholarship program from Gunnedah Council, and to extend a similar level of support to Brewarrina Council, in recognition of the extensive drought that is currently affecting rural NSW.

Council has received a letter from the Deputy Mayor of Gunnedah requesting assistance to fund their annual Community Scholarship Fund. These scholarships are used to provide funds to local students to cover some of their costs when moving away from home and course costs such as textbooks, when transitioning to tertiary education. They are awarded on academic achievement as well as need, commitment to their studies and community involvement. Since 2003 over 300 young people have been assisted. Normally the scholarships are funded by local businesses in Gunnedah, but, due to the hardships caused by the drought it is anticipated less funds will be available this year, hence their request to Northern Beaches Council.

No similar request has been received from Brewarrina Council, however, to be equitable it is recommended that a similar amount of funding be allocated to Brewarrina for use in their youth programs.

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