Media Releases Grants Regional development

$1 billion fund open to Euroa community groups

23 November 2016

Wednesday 23 November 2016

Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan has welcomed a move by the Commonwealth Government to give community groups in rural and regional Australia an opportunity to apply directly for government funding.

Ms Ryan said the guidelines for the $1 billion Building Better Regions Fund, released today by Federal Regional Development Minister Fiona Nash, allowed small community groups to apply directly. Capital cities have also been excluded from applying to the fund.

“Whether it’s the committee running the local farmers market, the Rotary club or a sporting club, these groups are at the heart of our towns and communities," Ms Ryan said.

“This is an important step from the Commonwealth as it gives groups an opportunity to directly apply for important community projects."

Ms Ryan said under Commonwealth had adopted the approach developed by the Victorian Nationals under the Putting Locals First Fund.

“The beauty of this program was that it gave communities an opportunity to apply directly for funding, instead of having to win local government backing," Ms Ryan said.

“Many community groups who could access funding under the Putting Locals First Fund have found themselves excluded after the Andrews Government scrapped the program.

"Applications for regional development funding to the Victorian Government must now first be prioritised and auspiced by local government.”

Ms Ryan said under the previous guidelines established by the Victorian Nationals groups right across the Euroa electorate had benefited from the fund.

 “Unfortunately the Andrews Government has failed to recognise that these local organisations often lie at the heart of country communities.

“The people in our small towns who bring the community together and who are often in the best position to identify local needs have been cut out of the picture," Ms Ryan said.

Funding is available for the construction of new infrastructure or the upgrading of existing infrastructure as well as community building activities such as local events, strategic regional plans, and leadership and capability building activities that deliver economic and social benefits to regional and remote communities.

Community groups wishing to prepare an application to the Building Better Regions Fund can download the new guidelines at Applications for the fund open on 18 January 2017.

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