Make the most of the community grants

Moving around the vast electorate of Giles – larger than Germany with the population of a German town – I am always struck by the strong community commitment that people have and the broad range of ideas about how to improve their local community. The communities in Giles are diverse but they all have a strong sense of place and identity.

A range of organisations apply for state government grants to improve facilities or fund projects. Most of those applications have to fit set criteria and at times lack flexibility. That is why we have introduced the $40-million Fund My Neighbourhood to harness the commitment and creativity that exists in communities and turn it into tangible improvements.

Fund My Neighbourhood is one of the largest community participatory budget exercises in the world. It represents a real grassroots approach to decision making.

Whether you live in Peter Treloar’s seat of Flinders or my seat of Giles I want to see our electorates on the Eyre Peninsula and in the north get our fair share of the funding. The more good ideas we put forward the greater our chance of funding.

Individuals and organisations can provide ideas. Sporting clubs, schools, charities and non-government organisations are just some of the bodies that can apply. All sorts of proposals can potentially be funded ranging from smaller $10,000 initiatives to larger projects up to $150,000.

The closing date for submissions is September 8 and the submissions do not have to take the form of fully costed detailed proposals. Get your ideas in whether basic or fully thought through. My office is more than happy to help. You can nominate by visiting www.fundmyneighbourhood.sa.gov.au.

Following the closure of nominations the next step is for local communities to decide which projects to support. Online voting will start from late September and conclude by early October.

Just a quick reminder about the Sports Voucher Program. Every primary school child is eligible each year for a $50 sports voucher to assist with sports fees or sporting club membership. In Giles 2450 vouchers have been redeemed for a variety of sports. Sport is a great way for children to be active, stay healthy and learn important skills like teamwork.

Eddie Hughes

Member for Giles