Joint media release with the Member for Grey, Rowan Ramsey MP
The Australian Government has announced that communities around Kimba and Wallerberdina Station can now each apply for up to $2 million worth of grants under a new Community Benefit Program.
Applications are open today for the program, which is for communities that were involved in detailed consultation about hosting Australia’s National Radioactive Waste Management Facility.
Grants of between $5,000 and $1 million will be available for eligible projects under the program, with the government accepting applications until 11 August 2020.
Local infrastructure upgrades, services, youth engagement and mental health initiatives are just some of the projects that local communities can consider when completing their applications.
Community groups, indigenous organisations, local businesses, not-for-profits and local councils are some of the entities eligible to apply for grants.
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the $4 million in total funding would deliver long-term benefits to eligible communities.
“This investment will support the communities through projects and initiatives that can further build and diversify local economies as well as improve community wellbeing,” the Minister said.
“The guidelines were developed in consultation with the local consultative committees to meet their economic and socio-economic needs, and I thank them for their input into the process.”
The Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said this round of Community Benefit Grants is a demonstration of the ongoing commitment that the Federal Government has to this process.
“For the Hawker and Flinders Ranges Council community it will be the final cash injection and I thank them all for the time and effort they put into examining the opportunity,” Mr Ramsey said.
“For Kimba it will mark the end of the decision-making phase, with a clear majority of residents looking forward to the legislation getting passed and works beginning.
“The Community Benefit Grants will enable both communities to make significant improvements with a range of projects.
Barndioota Consultative Committee Convener, Paul Thomas, said the new funding would provide a boost to Hawker and surrounding communities, within the 50km boundary.
“This new funding can deliver important social and economic benefits and I encourage the community to work together on identifying key projects that could provide long-term benefits,” Mr Thomas said.
“The funding recognises the long involvement that the communities around Wallerberdina Station had with this process, and while ultimately it did not proceed here, it is great that we will get some community benefits following what was a pretty significant effort.”
Kimba Consultative Committee Convener, Allan Suter, said the funding would be welcomed.
“I am sure the Kimba community will welcome this additional funding and put it to good use to improve outcomes across the community,” Mr Suter said.
“This community has dealt with drought and now COVID-19, as well as a simultaneous general downturn in population. So new funding for our town will be welcomed.
“In particular, I hope that at least some funding can go towards more local mental health initiatives, but let’s see what the applications and ideas look like, of course.”
The new program builds upon the $5.76 million invested across 57 projects and initiatives in these communities since consultation on the proposed facility commenced in 2017.
The grant guidelines can be found at www.business.gov.au/Grants-and-Programs/
Information on the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility can be found at www.radioactivewaste.gov.au