I invite your community organisation to apply for funding offered through the Australian Government’s Stronger Community Grants Programme.

Under the Stronger Community Grants Programme, local clubs, not-for-profit organisations and councils are eligible to apply for a share in $150,000 for local infrastructure and other community projects in Dunkley.

Round 1 of the Federal Government’s Stronger Community Grants Programme was received well and proved hugely successful in contributing to the work and vibrancy of our community groups. Funding made available has assisted many clubs and community organisations to build the infrastructure that they need to develop and grow.

As the Member for Dunkley, I am extremely excited to invite entries for the programme, which will fund small capital projects that support community participation and contribute to the vibrancy and viability of our local area.

Our clubs and community organisations are the very heartbeat of our local area and we are certainly lucky to have so many incredible people committed to strengthening our region. The Federal Government has made a decision to invest in those who are investing their time and effort in us and that is what this programme is primarily about.

One of the key criteria is that matching funding be offered dollar for dollar or in-kind.

I encourage your club or community organisation to apply for grants of between $5,000 and $20,000 through the programme. You may be able to utilise the funding to finish off an existing project, or start a capital works project that your club or organisation has ready to go.

This can be a great opportunity to have a look at what you can do to value-add to your organisation and, as a result, the community in general – these are the projects the programme’s panellists will be looking for.

Applications will be assessed by an independent panel which I am chairing, and comprises a cross section of community members from the Dunkley electorate.

For more information on eligibility guidelines and how to apply visit the website (www.infrastructure.gov.au/scp), or contact my electorate office on 03 9781 2333.

To receive a ‘Project Proposal Form’, I ask that you please email my office (b.billson.mp@aph.gov.au) with the subject line ‘Stronger Communities Programme 2016’, or drop into the office at 20 Davey Street, Frankston. Project proposal forms must be received by 12 noon on Monday, March 14, to be eligible for consideration.

If you apply and are successful through this process, it is my hope that this opportunity will empower you and your organisation to continue the valuable work you do to strengthen and enhance our local community.