Stirling MP Michael Keenan securing federal funding for local community groups

Local school children show Federal Member for Stirling Michael Keenan the herbs they have planted at the Hamersley Habitat Community Garden.
Local school children show Federal Member for Stirling Michael Keenan the herbs they have planted at the Hamersley Habitat Community Garden.

STIRLING MP Michael Keenan is working with 13 local community, sporting and not-for-profit organisations to secure funding for future community projects under the Federal Government’s Stronger Communities Program.

Upgrades to Stirling community and health centre facilities, purchase of trailers for surf lifesavers, the fit-out of an outdoor kitchen, acquisition of wheelchairs for sport, development of a sensory garden, and the purchase of a transport vehicle are just some of the many project ideas that have been nominated.

Mr Keenan said the grants of between $2500 and $20,000 will be provided to successful applicants for projects that will benefit Stirling residents and the wider community.

“We’ve identified a range of small capital projects that will improve local community participation and further enhance our already vibrant and viable community,” he said.

“Funding from Rounds 1 and 2 of the program has seen Stirling organisations receive upgrades to sporting facilities, new outdoor infrastructure for community gardens, and fit-outs to business and community centres.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Stirling’s local community groups and I thank the organisations who contacted my office to express interest in applying.”

Non-profit organisation the Stirling Business Association (SBA) received funding in Round Two to assist in the creation of the Stirling Business Centre – a communal office space in Balcatta supporting Stirling businesses and employees.

SBA Chief Executive Officer Yvonne Atkinson said the funding had been game changing.

“It’s not just about the money, although that was incredibly useful, but it was the catalyst for us to consider what was actually possible,” Ms Atkinson said.

“The project ended up being about five times the size of the initial funding as we realised the potential of these opportunities.

“Without the funding I am doubtful those conversations would have happened.”

Hamersley Habitat Community Garden coordinator Donelle Wilson said the funding her local group received in Round One was attracting more people, thanks to the purchase of an outdoor kitchen area and shade sails.

“It’s especially heartening to see younger families in the Community Garden,” Ms Wilson said.

“Financial support of this type is vital to the continued development and growth of the garden and I’m very thankful for what this grant has enabled us to do.”

For each project the grant amount will cover up to 50 percent of eligible project costs, with applicants meeting the Government’s contribution either in cash or in-kind.

Further information on the program can be found at http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/funding/scp/.