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Media Release by Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens

Jobs fund to build non-profit capacity and strengthen community resilience

$500 million will be invested in the Third Sector to strengthen non profit organisations and build community resilience, said Senator Stephens.

Applications are now open for the Jobs Fund that provides grants of up to $2 million dollars for non profit organisations to undertake projects that invest in local community infrastructure and build social capital.

“The Fund recognises the real need to bolster resilience in communities by reinvesting in community facilities, encouraging participation and fostering civic engagement,” Senator Stephens said.

The Fund includes two streams that provide grants of up to $2 million for non profit organisations:

  • The $300 million Local Jobs stream provides funding for community infrastructure projects with a focus on promoting environmental-friendly technology and heritage.
  • The $200 million Get Communities Working provides grants for innovative employment and social projects that build community resilience.

Funding will commence on 1 July 2009.

“These grants are an opportunity for non profit organisations to build community partnerships and invest in innovative projects that create employment opportunities and strengthen community resilience in areas vulnerable to high levels of unemployment and disengagement.

“The Fund also responds to the reality that some organisations have experienced reduced donation levels and suffered the loss of corporate sponsors,” said Senator Stephens.

$11 million of the Get Communities Working stream is available for temporary financial assistance to non profit organisations whose donor base is under pressure as a result of the economic downturn.

Senator Stephens encouraged all non profit organisations to submit proposals for the first round of the Jobs Funds by the applications due date of 22 May 2009. Guidelines can be downloaded from the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (www.deewr.gov.au)