THERE’S good news for four not-for-profit community groups who will receive funding for important infrastructure projects under the Federal Government’s Stronger Communities Program.
Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch has today congratulated the proponents of the four successful projects, announcing:
– up to $5,000 to the Naygayiw Gigi Indigenous Corporation for a Community Bus and Apple Macintosh office equipment in Bamaga;
– up to $20,000 to the Puuya Foundation for ‘A Beautiful Place for Families’ community beautification project in Lockhart River;
– up to $5,000 to the Goemulgaw Torres Strait Islander Corporation for the Supply and Install of Communication Equipment on Mabuiag Island; and
– up to $10,000 to the Erub Fisheries Management Association for a freezer upgrade and EFMA Dory Fit Outs project on Erub Island.
“This is fantastic news for these non-profit groups, which do essential work in our communities but are often run on the smell of an oily rag,” Mr Entsch said. “A grant of $5000, $10,000 or $20,000 might not sound like a lot of money, but often it can make a huge difference in actually getting a project off the ground.
“I’d like to congratulate each of the successful applicants because for every dollar the government invests, the proponents themselves have made a matching contribution either from their own funds, partner funds, or in-kind contributions such as volunteer labour and expertise.”
In Bamaga, the community bus will be used by the dance group to get them to performances around the Cape and further afield, as well as transporting elders to meetings, social events and medical appointments.
“In Lockhart River, the Puuya Foundation plans to beautify a block of land adjacent to the new early learning centre, creating a visually attractive garden and place of reflection where community members can gather,” Mr Entsch said.
“On Mabuiag, the installation of a mobile phone repeater means that the Mabuiag Women’s Network volunteers, who run the Mabuiag No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS) program will no longer have to walk to the other side of the island to get mobile phone reception.
“And on Erub, the grant will help to repair the community freezer to get it up and running again, improve security and fit-out two existing 7-metre dories.
“These are all projects that will have a positive social impact on residents and I’m looking forward to visiting and seeing them up and running in the near future.”
Leonora Adidi, manager of the Naygayiw Gigi Indigenous Corporation, said the purchase of new computer equipment would enable the group to make and share high-quality videos and photos of their performances, while the bus would give them greater independence.
“We’ve been using private cars, which is expensive on fuel and wear and tear for their owners and creates insurance issues. Having the organisation owning a vehicle will alleviate all those issues,” Ms Adidi said.
Denise Hagan, the Founder and CEO of Puuya Foundation said the grant would enable the Lockhart River Community to create a beautiful place for families (Ngaachi miinthama kuunchiku) by turning an industrial wasteland into a valuable family park area.
“We are most grateful to the Federal Government for the funding support, which will enable us to landscape with native plants and bushfoods, create pathways and build seats in the centre of the community,” said Ms Hagan.
Coordinator of Mabuiag NILS Program, Flora Warrior, says the Mabuiag NILS program provides safe loans to low income families to purchase essential white good items.
“It’s an important grass-roots pathway to other economic development initiatives that lead to greater financial capability and independence,” said Ms Warrior.
“The mobile phone repeater will ensure the program can be run more efficiently by volunteers in what is currently a black spot community.”
The Australian Government, in the 2015-16 Budget, provided $45 million over two years to fund small capital projects (between $5,000 and $20,000) in each of the 150 federal electorates.