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Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Delivering the Government’s commitment to local communities

Community organisations can now apply for funding under the Howard Government’s 2005 Local Answers and Volunteer Small Equipment Grants programs.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson today encouraged community organisations to apply for the funding, which is part of the Howard Government’s Stronger Families and Communities Strategy. Senator Patterson said advertisements would appear in this weekend’s papers calling for applications.

“The Howard Government recognises the important role of volunteers and local community organisations in building capacity, leadership and mentoring in their local area,” Senator Patterson said.

“Under the Volunteer Small Equipment Grants, community groups can apply to receive up to $3,000 each to help them purchase small equipment items that will further assist the contribution Australia’s volunteers make.

“Previous Volunteer Small Equipment Grants have been allocated to a range of important projects like the Bateman’s Bay Volunteer Rescue Squad who received funding for vital communication devices including UHF CB radios.

“The Local Answers initiative helps strengthen disadvantaged communities by funding local, small-scale, time limited projects. The funding allows communities to develop their own solutions to local problems and helps them to help themselves.

“This approach recognises that communities know what their local issues are and how these issues should be addressed.

“Local Answers projects funded under previous grants include programs helping families to develop better parenting and relationship skills and supporting mentoring and leadership programs.

“These projects are great examples of the assistance the Stronger Families and Communities Strategy provides to local organisations to deliver beneficial activities in communities across Australia,” Senator Patterson said.

The Howard Government has allocated $19 million in funding for more than 100 projects under the Local Answers initiative and $3 million dollars for Volunteer Small Equipment grants in 2005.

Applications for both the Local Answers and Volunteer Small Equipment Grants initiatives close 5pm EST, Friday 4 March.

Application forms and guidelines are available from the Department of Family and Community Services’ website www.facs.gov.au or by phoning the following toll free hotlines:

  • Local Answers Round Two1800 050 044
  • Volunteer Small Equipment Grants 20051800 153 477