Premier Daniel Andrews and Member for Eltham, Vicki Ward, this morning announced $30m in funding for community group-driven projects that would cost between $20,000 and $200,000 which could be completed within a year at Eltham’s Frank St Reserve.
Projects will be chosen by local residents under a new community building fund, which will see Victorians nominate and decide their own funding priorities.
The new program, Pick My Project, will be backed by $30 million from the 2018/19 Budget and will be spread across the state, giving every community the chance to benefit.
“Locals know their own backyard better than anyone else. This is about putting community funding decisions back in the hands of communities,” Andrews said.
In a Victorian-first, all residents aged 16 and over will be able to submit their idea for consideration under the program.
All they’ll need is an idea that helps build a stronger community, and the backing of a local organisation, community group, school, local council, or other eligible group able to help deliver the project.
Ideas could include anything from sporting and recreation infrastructure, community arts projects, improvements to community facilities or the local environment.
“We want to hear from young people, sporting clubs, community groups, schools, everyone who is active and involved in our local communities – because they are the ones who know better than anyone what is needed,” Ward said.
Projects will need to be feasible and have land-owner consent, but there will be no restrictive guidelines – meaning many local priorities that fall-between the cracks of other grant programs will be eligible for funding.
Communities will then get to vote for the projects they think are most important, giving local residents the first and final say on the best way to improve their local area.
Projects between $20,000 and $200,000 will be eligible under the program, with funding spread between the nine Regional Partnership Regions and six Metropolitan Partnership Regions.
The Budget will also provide a $50 million boost to Growing Suburbs Fund to deliver more vital community infrastructure projects across Melbourne’s booming outer suburbs, in line with local council priorities.
The initiative will start in May and winning projects will be announced in September 2018. To get ready and register your interest, visit pickmyproject.vic.gov.au