COMMUNITY GROUPS RECEIVE MUCH NEEDED BOOST BUT CONCERNS MANY MISSING OUT
Local community groups across Bean will receive federal funding to support local volunteers across Australia.
The grants awarded range between $1,000 and $5,000 will support local organisations by assisting their volunteers to purchase small equipment, as well as pay for fuel, transport and training costs.
Member for Bean, David Smith, said “this funding will provide some relief for organisations and their volunteers in what has been a difficult year so far due to the bushfire smoke over summer and now broader impacts of COVID-19”.
Recent events have reminded us of the importance of volunteers and their contribution to the Australian community.”
“Local community groups will be receiving a much needed and well-deserved boost through these volunteer grants, but it’s very concerning many will miss out.”
“Emergency relief organisations have seen a surge in demand for their services due to recent events, and some have been forced to close their doors because they cannot get the goods, funding and support they need”.
“The Liberal-National Government has limited grants to $66,000 per electorate. This is despite 70 percent of organisations missing out in previous rounds, and despite many worthy applications.”
In the latest round, 35 groups that applied for assistance in Bean missed out. This result closely mirrors the 70 percent rejection rate seen previously, despite the hard work of volunteers and clear community need.
Labor wrote to the Government and requested a review of funding levels to make sure they reflect local community need.
Labor also expressed concerns about the application process which placed pressure on small community organisations to meet tight application deadlines.
I have written to the Minister for Families and Social Services, Senator the Hon Anne Ruston, on behalf of those in Bean who have missed out on funding to urge the Government to provide the additional resources which are so clearly required to support the local community.
“It is critical that frontline emergency relief services receive what they need during this difficult time”, David said.