After an odd first time voting process to decide grant funding to communities, the NSW Government has announced the winners from the ‘My Community Project’ program.
Based on a popular vote, the successful projects will share in $24.7 million from the NSW Government – around $200,000 was available per electorate.
My Community Project used a preferential voting system. Voters were asked to choose between 3 and 5 projects in order of preference.
The program saw 61,437 people voting for their favourite projects with 248 projects across NSW set to be funded.
In the Bega electorate, 35 projects were on the ‘ballot paper’.
With 1,726 points received, The Eden Fitness Trail is a winner. The outdoor gym project, sponsored by Bega Valley Shire Council, has been awarded $120,000.
“The exercise equipment will become a permanent Council and community asset capitalising on existing pathways an amenities,” the pitch to voters read.
“By promoting participation in exercise, the trail will become a community meeting ground. The outdoor gym will provide exercise opportunities helping to address physical and mental health issues facing an isolated rural community. The trail will attract visitors providing a boost to the local economy.”
The project will commence with funding in place from October 2019. The Eden Fitness Trail Group will complete the project within 12 months.
Following the good news, Fiona Campbell of the Eden Fitness Trail Group says, “Woo hoo Eden you will now have an Outdoor Gym and a Fitness Trail. A big thank you to everyone voted – what a wonderful town Eden is when we all come together!”
“That constant nagging worked.”
North of Eden, the restoration of the Tuross Head Country Club carpark also won out with 1,477 points and $53,000
The 40-year-old car-park will be restored to an ‘as new’ condition, eliminating the current trip-hazard, patches and pot-holes.
The project is sponsored by the Tuross Head Men’s Shed who in their application said, “the existing car-park is dangerous with a multitude of trip hazards. This is amplified as the THCC serves a local community with an aged demographic.”
“A new surface will greatly improve the physical and visual amenity of the Club for visitors and members alike. It will eliminate the considerable ongoing need for patching maintenance by volunteers of the club.”
West of the coastal escarpment, across the electorate of Monaro, Jerrabomberra came out trumps with two projects securing the funding out of 21 projects.
The Jerrabomberra Public School – Cover Our Sports Courts Project collected 3,013 points and with it $171,203.
The application said “Jerra kids and community will benefit from physical and mental wellbeing and easy access to everyday sports facilities.
“In a first for Jerrabomberra, these will be the only covered courts available for the community. Teachers and 950 students (10% of suburbs population) will have ready access to better sports facilities every schooling day.
“Outside school hours, the court’s usage will extend to after-school and vacation-care providers plus families, personal-trainers and sporting community groups. This will breathe new life to the courts and enable all to meet and play.”
Just a stone through away, Jerrabomberra Community Centre is getting a new adventure playground, with $40,000 following 1,926 votes.
The project is sponsored by Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council and will be carried out by local playground contractors and Council staff, ready for January 2020.
Council will prepare and grade the site, and select adventure-style play equipment suitable for a range of abilities and ages.
In the Goulburn electorate, Moss Vale was the big winner, with the high school awarded $68,690 on the back of 1,339 points, to develop a school and community cafe to learn hospitality and catering skills.
And Moss Vale Golf Club has been awarded $162,730 with 1,294 points to upgrade car parking, walking and wheelchair access and lighting for safer day and night time use.
To check on the points received for the various projects in your area go to the My Community Project website.
In explaining the voting process, Deputy Premier and Member for Monaro, John Barilaro says, “This is an innovative and exciting program that is putting decision making back in the hands of community members and giving them an opportunity to weigh in on their top picks for projects in the region.”
“This is a really great way for people to engage with decision making that impacts them directly.”
What do you think? Want more of this style of grant funding?