Up to $20k on offer in community grants

Hawkesbury Independent

Hawkesbury community groups can apply for grants of up to $20,000  at the end of October, as a new round of money becomes available under the Stronger Communities program.

A total of $150,000 is on offer to fund up to 20 capital projects across Hawkesbury and the Blue Mountains, Macquarie MP Susan Templeman said this week.

“Grants of up to $20,000 will be available for small projects that deliver social benefits to our community,” Ms Templeman explained.

“These can include things like community gardens, the upgrading of facilities to provide inclusive access, sports equipment, some IT equipment and software, or fit outs for community spaces like men’s sheds and community centres.”

Wilberforce United Soccer Club is reaping the benefits of securing a $20,000 grant in the last round, which was spent on installing lights around the bottom field of its Woodlands Road grounds.

“The lights made a real difference to the club and its players, with members of the Over 35s being able to play under lights close to home rather than at Bligh Park where they previously had to travel,” Ms Templeman said.

Community groups are not required to match the funding. Applicants are urged to get in quick and contact Ms Templeman’s office for details on how to submit an expression of interest as “the available pool [of money is] far too small”.

“My independent assessment panel had more than $1 million in applications rolling in from Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains community organisations for the last round of Stronger Communities funding,” Ms Templeman said.

“While we welcomed the government’s decision to waive the 50/50 matched funds requirement in that round, in recognition of how difficult fundraising had been during Covid and natural disasters, no additional funds were made available for MPs to allocate.

“As a consequence, we received requests for larger grants from many groups but insufficient funds to meet them.

“Even a modest increase would mean organisations like charities, service and sporting groups, and school P&Cs that apply for these grants to help fill a gap left by governments will have more of a chance to fulfill that need.”

Expressions of Interest for the grants program can be made through Ms Templeman’s office, with the independent panel assessing the merits of each project before recommendations for funding are made.

Projects must be completed by December 31, 2022.

Groups must have an ABN to be eligible.

Email: susan.templeman.mp@aph.gov.au.

“It’s a fairly simple online Expressions of Interest form to be filled in, which can be done from October 31,” Ms Templeman said.

Picture (archive): Federal Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman with Wilberforce United Soccer Club members (l-r) Don Culey, Daniel Davey, Boris Racki and Adam Jones, with the new lights in the background.

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