Virtuous circle of initiative in WA's south

Six organisations around the state’s south have secured grants to deliver important community projects in the O’Connor electorate of Rick Wilson MP.

The funding has been delivered under the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal’s Strengthening Rural Communities grants program.

“From Albany to Pemberton, to Bridgetown, through Collie and Kondinin and back to the south coast at Ravensthorpe, the six funded projects represent a virtuous circle of regional community initiative,” Mr Wilson said.

“The Liberal Party strongly supports regional Australia, and by partnering with community groups and shires, we can help deliver projects that have been developed and prioritised locally.

“Every region is different, which is why collaborating with the Foundation to support local projects can have a real, positive impact, instead of relying on top-down, one-size-fits-all programs out of Canberra.”

The Foundation and the Commonwealth Government have a long history of together supporting rural and regional communities.

“Unfortunately, over the past two years, the Albanese Labor Government has forgotten about and starved regional communities of grant funding,” Mr Wilson said.

He said Commonwealth funding had dried up for the Foundation of Rural Regional Renewal to deliver grants under the Strengthening Rural Communities program.

“There has been no commitment whatsoever from the Albanese Labor Government to support future grant funding rounds,” he said.

“This is despite the Foundation advising there were a further 85 projects across Australia that were ready for funding under the recent round but there was not enough money available to support those regional communities.

“In the upcoming Federal Budget, Labor has the opportunity to show if it has a commitment to country communities, or whether it will continue to turn its back and walk away from the regions.”

 

BACKGROUND

 

Details of the six funded projects follow:

 

  • Great Southern Community Legal Services: $8160: Digital Enhancement Project
    Improve the post-pandemic capacity of a community legal service to provide video-based legal consultations by furnishing three hybrid meeting spaces.

 

  • Pemberton Youth Emergency Service Cadets: $10,000: Boost organisational and volunteer capacity post-pandemic by equipping the Youth Emergency Services cadet program with appropriate PPE and storage equipment.

 

  • Bridgetown's Grumpy Old Men Inc: $5096: Upgrade Dust Extraction System;
    strengthen organisational capacity to provide safe working conditions and attract new men’s shed members by purchasing mobile dust extractors for use with woodworking equipment.

 

  • Collie Men's Shed Inc: $10,000: Build an all-weather working and wood storage area to enable members to work safely on outdoor projects.

 

  • Shire of Kondinin: $5100: Hyden railway barrack restoration -
    Enhance community spirit and tourism by providing interpretive signage to complete the restoration of the town's oldest intact building which has been relocated to a prominent new site.

 

  • Ravensthorpe Wildflower Show Inc: $5000: Support community reconnection and upskill volunteers by facilitating a native wildflower show opening, and holding a series of free community flora identification workshops led by a botanist.

Media contact: Chris Thomson, (08) 9842 2777; [email protected]

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