Upper Hunter organisations, not-for-profit groups eye off federal funding assistance

Muswellbrook Shire Council received a $20,000 Stronger Communities Grant for the construction of a toddler playground at the Highbrook Lizard Park.

Muswellbrook Shire Council received a $20,000 Stronger Communities Grant for the construction of a toddler playground at the Highbrook Lizard Park.

COMMUNITY organisations and not-for-profit groups in the Hunter electorate can benefit from two grants programs offering up money to invest in capital works projects as well as volunteer programs.

A total of $22.5 million is available across the country for a fourth round of the Stronger Communities Program (SPC). 

This means the Hunter electorate has access to $150,000 worth of grants.

Eligible applicants can apply for funding between $2500 and $20,000 to fund a project, which will improve local participation and contribute to a more vibrant and inclusive community. 

All applicants are required to match the SCP grant in cash or in-kind on at least a dollar-for-dollar basis.

Expressions of interest are open now and close on Friday, September 7.

“There are countless projects and initiatives that are simply lacking the funding to make a worthwhile and considerable impact within our community,” Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon said.

“We have recently seen the positive impact of the 15 projects delivered under the last round of the Stronger Communities Grants Program, so I encourage organisations to submit an expression of interest application before September 7 to ensure they are in the running for their projects to be funded.”

Some of the latest funding granted includes $20,000 for the Rotary of Cessnock for a new catering van, $5264 for the Macquarie Shores Swimming Club for a new digital scoreboard, $8925 for the Singleton Neighbourhood Centre for a new air-conditioner and $20,000 for the Denman Sandy Hollow Junior Rugby League Club to fund stage one of its new concrete grandstand.

In addition to the Stronger Communities Program, 2018 Volunteer Grants between $1000 and $5000 are available to help not-for-profit community organisations or groups support their volunteers through practical measures such as the purchase of small equipment items, reimbursement for volunteers’ fuel and transport costs, and contributions towards the cost of training and background screening checks. 

Those who can apply for the grants are any community-based volunteer groups that work in their local communities. 

These can include progress associations, scouting groups, sports clubs, community clubs, wildlife carers, bands and musical clubs – and many more. 

Applications for 2018 Volunteer Grants close on Tuesday, September 18.

“Volunteers make a valuable contribution to our community so it’s fantastic to see a grant opportunity aimed to support our volunteers and the organisations they work with,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

For more information about the Stronger Communities Program and 2018 Volunteer Grants, visit www.joelfitzgibbon.com/grants