Popular grants scheme gets axe

The state government will not continue the $20 million Fund My Neighbourhood program, which helped to fund community projects across the state such as the Kimba all-abilities playground.

The program was started in 2017 and provided grants to community projects which were voted on by the public to gain funding.

Treasurer Rob Lucas confirmed the government would not continue the program on Wednesday, May 30.

“This was a former Labor government program...we made no commitment prior to the election to continue the $20 million stage two of Fund My Neighbourhood,” Mr Lucas said.

He said the government would honor all commitments made by the former Labor government in the 2017/2018 Fund My Neighbourhood program, and funding allocated by the previous government for the program would go towards other Liberal party policies.

Kimba had three projects funded by the program, and Kimba District Council mayor Dean Johnson said the program receiving the axe was disappointing.

“While it is disappointing that the program won’t continue, council is extremely grateful for the funding opportunities it has afforded the Kimba community to date,” Mr Johnson said.

“Fund My Neighbourhood provided vital opportunities for small South Australian communities that are often excluded by the excessive application requirements of other grant streams.

“The program promoted an interactive, whole-of-community approach to determining which projects were of greatest importance through the online voting process, and Council hopes alternative grants will be offered in the future that are aimed specifically at rural and regional towns.”

Assistant minister to the opposition leader Emily Bourke said the move showed the Liberal Government did not trust the public as Fund My Neighbourhood gave the power to people to decide what was best for their neighbourhood.

“The Liberal Government has shown they don’t trust the community to decide how and where funds should be allocated.

“The success of this program speaks for itself, with over 33,000 people having a say in what matters to their community.

“Fund My Neighbourhood wasn’t just about new funds for communities, it was about bringing people together.,” Ms Bourke said.